Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Living Well

A question was posted on the Young Anabaptist Radicals site: "What does it mean to live well and to die well?"

For me, to live well means to be present for others.

Being present means that I am not distracted by other concerns, expectations or by various technologies, but I am with the person who is in front of me.

Being for others means that I am not using the other for my own gain or well-being, but I am just thinking of their need and how I can best meet their need.

And in this, I meet my own needs. I am not just forgetting myself, but I am living my life through being there for the other and the One who is the Most Other. In this, I find my health and satisfaction, not because I sought my own health or my own satisfaction, but due to God's having made me that the more I give, the more I receive.

I do this in the lives of others, and in their deaths. In my context, it means that even when I contact a recent homeless person's family about thier death and they don't want to talk about him, I will do what I can to offer him the respect of remembering him, of talking about him, of crying for the loss.

I hope that I may do this with my dying breath.

Of course, this is as much a goal as a lifestyle. There are still so many times that I obtain my satisfaction selfishly, for the sole intent of satisfying my needs. But it is so much more nourishing for me to cook a stew to share than a hamburger for myself alone. Yet I write this as I am considering eating a candy bar in the solitude of my office... ah, well. I try.

No comments: