I loved Jessika Santulli’s post about wanting to be seen, really seen as a person. It highlighted that one of the impacts of my learning Theology of the Body is getting better at seeing others as persons. What does that mean? I know it sounds silly, because like most of us I’ve always understood that people are made in God’s image. However, that didn’t always impact how I reacted to them.
But as TOB truths have gradually sunk into me, I find myself sometimes acting differently.
Here’s an example. I had to call our health insurance company the other day to find out if my husband and I have coverage for the shingles vaccine. (I think I’m more afraid of getting shingles than Covid. I’ve heard horror stories!) I looked online but because we are new this year to Anthem, I had trouble finding the info myself online. Still learning their site.
It took an entire hour on the phone to get the information I was looking for. On hold multiple times for-ev-er! Old me would have been irritated with the customer service person and frustrated the rest of the morning. Newer me (I’m a work in progress) was able to think about the woman on the other end of the line (who seemed to be somewhat new at this job). Instead of focusing on my irritation at why it took this much effort to find out a simple answer, I opted to just put the phone on speaker and continue doing my own work. I even thanked her at the end and admitted I’m glad I’m not the one trying to figure out the minutia of hundreds of people’s insurance benefits every day. “No problem, that’s why I’m here!” she breezily said.
I hung up feeling…content. Not irritated.
One more quick example. A few years ago for my husband Greg’s birthday the family decided to do a scavenger hunt downtown in our city of Cincinnati. We met up on Saturday morning at Fountain Square and I wanted to get a family photo, but there weren’t a lot of people around just yet. Except there was this one man sitting at a table nearby. I certainly didn’t know him or his story, but labels such as homeless, addict or bum easily could have been assigned. I went right over to him and asked if he would take our photo and handed him my iPhone while ignoring the “Are you crazy?!” look from my son.
We got the photo, I thanked him as I would anyone else, and we went on our way. But I’ve not forgotten that impulse of mine to see him as worthy of taking our picture. Because he was.
What do you see with new eyes thanks to the Theology of the Body?