My friend Arzu wrote a really interesting post today. My post is in response to her musings... you should go over and read it, otherwise this post will seem pretty random.
I'm not Christian... I used to be but there were too many loose ends that didn't make sense to me. I don't really know what I am at the moment; I believe God exists in one form or another but I really don't think It cares about us on a personal level.
This being said, I don't think that lessens our calling to care for one another. In the end, God is intangible; we are all we have. I think our highest purposes are found in helping others, in doing what we can to ameliorate someone else's pain.
I also know that I fall short of that standard. A friend, a neighbor recently suffered a death in the family. I found out immediately but could not bring myself to cross the street to console her or to offer my apologies. I was awkward and helpless when it came to facing death in my own family when my father died a couple of years back; I was awkward and helpless when it came to dealing with her loss. Even though I loved her and knew that my silence was hurting her, I could not go over.
I'd like to think that I'd be there if a friend needed me, but in reality, I'd probably be "too busy", or help out but feel put-upon and inconvenienced at the same time. How to reach the selfless spirit that Arzu's friend S demonstrated when the neighbor he barely knew requested his help?
I also know that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would suffer alone and in silence rather than ask anyone for help, thereby inconveniencing them.
I love the idea, the ideal, of community... where we all take care of each other. It seems like such an impossible goal, though. How do we get there from here?