Last night, after her second performance, Usher left her with these words, "You are medicine to the world."
I think I would have just sat down on the stage and cried if anyone said that to me, let alone Usher freaking Raymond. What an incredible thing to say to someone! That the way they live their life brings healing to those who hurt, gives strength to those who are beaten down, and gives hope for a better day. It made me stop, grab a Kleenex, and ask myself, "who am I healing today?"
I think in the midst of the chaos of our busy lives and going from one thing to the next, we lose sight of the fact that every day is an opportunity. An opportunity to show someone hope, love and grace that might not otherwise know what those words mean. Let's face it. We all need healing in some way or another. There isn't a single person out there that isn't fighting a hard battle. And so often we don't let others into our fight because of shame or fear of rejection. It's a two way street. We need to be aware that people around us need healing, and we also need to allow others to help us heal.
During our trip to Boca Raton, I watched one of my favorite movies, "Chocolat," for probably the eleventh time. The final scene is such a source of rejuvenation for me, and it sums up my prayer for change (watch here):
I'm not sure what the theme of my homily today ought to be. Do I want to speak of the miracle of Our Lord's divine transformation? Not really, no. I don't want to talk about His divinity. I'd rather talk about His humanity. I mean, you know, how He lived His life, here on Earth. His kindness, His tolerance... Listen, here's what I think. I think that we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do. By what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think, we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.
While I know that goodness isn't everything and that goodness isn't effective without faith, I also know that we are missing something critical about genuinely caring for each other as human beings. I have been so encouraged by Michelle and Usher's partnership and subtle examples of love and celebration of self. It reminds me that there is hope, and hope is medicine enough for me.