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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I read a story once about how Mother Theresa found the body of a man who had died of hunger in an impoverished country. She lay hands on the man and prayed for him. When asked why she bothered to pray for a dead man she said she didn’t want him to be overlooked or forgotten. According to Mother Theresa, every life is precious in life and in death.
What a beautiful image. Everyone deserves honor. Whether you’re the weary soldier who has just returned from the battlefield, the battered woman who has taken a second chance at love, or the janitor who sweeps the floors and wipes the toilets. No man should ever be overlooked.
After the terrible tragedy of hurricane Katrina, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” dedicated an entire show on the aftermath of the disaster. Dr. Oz, a frequent guest on the show who currently has his own program, walked the streets of New Orleans providing medical care to the wounded and dying. As he walked the streets of New Orleans he caught site of the body of a woman lying on the side of a road and he said, “This is someone’s daughter. Somebody gave birth to this person.” He then proceeded to cover the forgotten corpse.
We live in a world of injustice where countless faces die everyday. It may be the prostitute beaten and killed by a client, the child sold into sexual slavery, or the lonely old man in the nursing home whose family has neglected him. No matter who we are, human beings deserve honor. We all have a name and a purpose. We have importance and value.
Have you ever felt over-looked and unacknowledged? May you receive the honor you deserve not only in death but also in life. After all, we’re only given one chance to live.
“Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.” -Arthur Schopenhauer