The Christian author C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
By Blessed Sacrament, Lewis meant the bread and wine of communion, and it's probably not surprising he would consider that the holiest thing we will ever see. What may be surprising is the second part of that statement; that after communion, the holiest thing we'll ever see or touch is another human being.
That's right: sloppy, dirty, imperfect human beings are holy. Your co-worker who can't pick up after herself is holy. That whiny child in the store is holy. The jerk who just cut you off in traffic and almost caused an accident is holy.
Humans are holy because we're created in God's image, because Jesus considered us precious enough to live and die for our benefit, because, like the bread and wine of communion, God's presence can somehow become real in us.
We humans do not always live up to that holiness or show it on the outside. When I say "Jesus loves you" to that jerk in traffic it's usually sarcastic instead of a statement of fact, but I have found that when I can take Lewis's words seriously, it makes a difference in how I treat people. When I think, "God loves this person" I can find a little more patience, a little more understanding, and find myself a little less frustrated or angry.
If we can more frequently find the faith to believe that one of the holiest things we'll ever be close to another human being, perhaps we can see the Holy Spirit breathe a little more peace into this world. And that would be blessed indeed.
Standing in the Gray,
“You're everywhere to me; when I catch my breath, it's you I breathe.” -Michelle Branch, "Everywhere"