A Kindergarten Lesson in Sharing
I am confused about many things; but the one that bothers me most is how we live our secluded lives. We always anticipate a more glorious life. But the life we have is the only one we’ve got, composed of flesh and blood . . . just like everyone else. We share this life with all others.
I don’t care what religion we are, or if we are not religious. What I do care about is whether we are willing to let others enjoy this life we share. How is it possible to be content and happy in this life, when we see poverty and degradation all around us? Jesus, who looked at mankind and was saddened by all the neglect present in his time, teaches us to love one another as we love ourselves. But, maybe we don’t love ourselves. We can only offer hope and courage because of the hope and courage we have found in others.
There is a story about an African missionary bringing a basket of fruit to a native village and offering it to the children. The children raced to the basket, all holding hands. When they got to the basket, they emptied it and took the fruit off to enjoy . . . together. When asked by the missionary why they did not grab a lot for themselves, the children answered that they could not be happy if their friends we saddened by the lack of food.
Jesus tells us to “love one another as I have loved you.” Here is the source of this strength which we can receive from him and pass along to others. These children, who are not Christian, practice this daily.
The gospels are filled with stories where Jesus ignores the boundaries imposed by acceptable social practices, and openly disregards man-made laws and regulations in order to show compassion. Jesus would have loved this story and would have shared this with many people, while on his journey. He consistently lets those oppressed by society know that they are wanted and loved by God, even if they are ignored and despised by everyone else.
God gives us the responsibility of doing something ourselves about the accepted social norms that are holding us back in doing good for others. We don’t have to do this alone. We have God’s promise of holding our hand and of helping us. But we must take the steps.
Our governments, and others in the positions of power, do everything they can to hoard the basket of fruit. They fear allowing others to share in the bounty. They can only be happy when they have it all.
And . . . they call themselves Christians.