On Being Human 5: Otherness

BY Doug Jones

April 18, 2013


When we live in such a way that we are attentive to the present moment and growing in our awareness of the wonder of life, it helps us see the extraordinary in the ordinary of life. We become able to see each individual as unique. We hopefully see others as having a deep significance, worthy of love, dignity, kindness, and mercy. Until we see others as more than an extension of ourselves (as unique individuals) we have no hope of seeing the presence of the Transcendent Other. It may be that we best begin to see God’s presence when we encounter him in providing hospitality to strangers.

Extending Hospitality:

  1. Ask God to give you new eyes to see your community with ability to see the hurting and needy in your midst.
  2. Once God begins to reveal those who are in need of care and hospitality, consider the following ways to enter their world and listen to their story:
    • join their routine and enter their day for a period of time
    • buy two cups of coffee and share a coffee break with them
    • spend your lunch with them (share a bag lunch together)

3.  When you feel there is a mutual respect and trust

    • invite them to a meal in your home
    • involve them in a family tradition/picnic


A Prayer for Others

Open my eyes that they may see the deepest needs of people;

Move my hands that they may feed the hungry;

Touch my heart that it may bring warmth to the despairing;

Teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers;

Let me share my possessions to clothe the naked;

Give me the care that strengthens the sick;

Make me share in the quest to set the prisoner free.

In sharing our anxieties and our love, our poverty and our prosperity,

we partake of your divine presence. Amen.

With All God’s People: The New Ecumenical Prayer Cycle (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1989), p. 344.

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