Sitraka Andriam shares how the experience of completing the second week’s “Listening Hand” activity expanded his heart and transformed his life. How might talking with five people who have been Christ for you transform your relationship with them – and yourself?
Transcript: Hi there. So this right here is my example. I had the privilege of doing this exercise and I am here to tell you that it expanded my heart and transformed my life, as everything that God does for us, I think, should.
So I reached out to five people who have literally been Jesus’ feet and eyes to me in this world. Who have been very strong, encouraging, and very loving to me throughout my life, especially the very difficult stages that I have had to overcome and get through. So there was the Director of the Episcopal Service Corps, which I joined in California, then one of my favorite bishops, a deacon/lawyer who also works for the church, and then a woman who has been a godmother to me from Virginia, and my little sister from Virginia as well, who have been amazing people to me all along. So in terms of what this felt like, this is an amazing, and deeply transformative, and a profoundly vulnerable exercise, so all things that we know God wants us to lean into even more.
So one of the most important things for me in terms of this exercise was that I really feel like I began to see folks who have been very strong, and steady, and encouraging to me in a new light, because I got to actually ask them to tell me how come it is that they have fallen in love with God, and kept falling in love with God’s embrace. And now I know them a little more fully. I know things about them that I did not know before, and that ultimately I think makes me a much more loving person. But also it has transformed our relationship into a deeper and ultimately more Christ-like friendship.
A couple of things I want to highlight. Many of the folks with whom I spoke have come to understand God’s love has been for all persons, and also have really emphasized and echoed this idea that Jesus wants us to practice what they call radical generosity. These folks have all been radically generous to me and it was really interesting kind of to hear them talk about how generosity is a core value as a way of life. That they see through the story of Jesus and that they want to keep on embodying through their lives. And the most beautiful thing that they said, actually all five of them, was that they know that God has been holding them all along. So this is a God who holds, and sustains, and cherishes us through all of the things that we might be going through.
And so I highly encourage you to do this. This will open up many things for you and for those you love. It will break a couple of hearts perhaps, but I think in important ways, and ultimately enlarge and expand our hearts so that the dimensions that God has already created in us can be even bigger and more generous, and that we can be Christ’s hands and feet, as they have been Christ’s hands and feet, too.
– Sitraka Andriam
Who has been a channel of God’s grace for you? In conversation or over email this week, reach out to five people to find out how they came to know God’s love. How does the Good News shape the way they live? Reflect on how you are inspired by their witness and examples.