Touched by a Human

It was a day filled with its usual busyness. I was between clients. I was hurried, trying to check-off one more item on my “to-do” list. It was the last phone call to return. A gentleman answered. The phone call resembled many others, questions, logistics, information. After a few minutes, when the call was winding down and I was ready to hang up the phone, to move on to the others tasks for the day, I heard a quiet, fragile voice ask, “How do I get the voices to stop?”

My heart sank. It’s not as if I haven’t dealt with these issues before, not as if they are far from me. This is part of what I do. Psychosis. Mental illness. Yet this was somehow different. In that moment, the superficial tasks of the day were interrupted, and what I heard was another human being in pain, desperate for help, for hope.

The veneer of comfortable distance inside of me was shattered in an instant. What I experienced was a reaffirmation that we are all unmistakably broken and yet beautifully human. My brokenness, my wounds, may have a different shape or size. They may surface in more clever or benign ways, but they still remain broken.

In that conversation, I may have answered a few questions, hopefully provided some guidance or direction, but in truth, he did so much more for me. In that moment, he broke through the mundane rituals and routines that handcuff me to the meaningless.

He reminded me that my passion and purpose here on earth is making contact with other human beings – to be with, listen to, become inspired by others on this journey; to offer encouragement, to speak of the eternal hope that lies in relationship with Christ, and to give compassion for wounds yet to be healed.

We are all on this journey together. Each one is at a different place, each travelling at a different pace. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we felt safe enough to expose our wounds, and to find instead of subtle judgment and shame, other human beings with open arms of love, compassion, and encouragement, willing to reveal their wounds as well? How much more would we as individuals, families, and communities, find both healing and wholeness?

Have you been touched by a human today?