At Christmas, why we need to know what makes us human

Illustrated by Robert Labayen
Somewhere in the world today, a child’s eyes are glowing as she opens a present, a doll princess that she has already cuddled in her dreams. In another part of the planet, a boy  is overjoyed  to receive a pencil, it means the world to him as he begins to imagine how education will change his life.

As we speak, some parents are feeling nostalgic as they look at their now grown up children gathered around the Christmas feast. There are parents oceans away from family, tears of joy flowing as they see their loved ones’ faces on the free video call.

There’s a child with autism, amazed by the Christmas lights looking like stars that came down from the sky. There is a boy celebrating the solitary coin he earned by singing a carol.There’s a girl wishing she’s big enough to be part of an awesome choir. 

People are happy in cities where malls are lavishly decorated. People are happy in the countryside where the quiet night soothes the soul. There is happiness everywhere and in every thing.

God reveals to us His greatness when we realize He cared enough to create a brain that experiences joy and a body that feels the warmth of an embrace. We find delight in things big or small. Happiness comes free and is available anytime if we always choose to look at the bright side.

Scientists have proven that although other animals can have pleasant and unpleasant feelings, only the human brain is  big enough to have the ability to ascribe meaning to bodily sensations. We can make sense of our experiences that’s why we can recall the past, relish the present and imagine the future in a way that they make us feel physical pleasure and feel good inside. Or feel sad, angry or scared.

Emotions are not always happy. But emotions are the best part of the human experience. They are what make us human.

God also gave us “mirror neurons” so we can be sensitive to other people’s feelings, too.”

At the same time that we are happy, there are people everywhere who feel left behind. Most numerous of them are those whom Mahatma Gandhi described as “ so hungry, God can only appear to them in the form of bread.” There are also many who have a hollow feeling in their chest.  They may be those who cannot be with the ones they love, those that have not reconciled after a misunderstanding, those who are bullied, belittled or threatened, those unjustly jailed, those who are sick and praying for a miracle.

“God will wipe every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” ( Revelations 21:4)

That promise is fulfilled through us. Because we are God’s presence in other people’s lives. Through us we share God’s love, His blessings, His comfort, His compassion, His healing touch. We are the physical signs of hope that comes from above.

It is reassuring to know that God is with us all the time. Scientists have discovered that tears flow with endorphins, the hormones that mask pain and make us feel better. God cared enough to give us in our sorrow a window of a good feeling.


At Christmas, why we need to know what makes us human At Christmas, why we need to know what makes us human Reviewed by Robert Labayen on 6:51 PM Rating: 5

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