I Treasure Them

I always have fresh flowers on my dining table. This morning I took my withered tulips out to the compost in order to replace them with new beauty. Since I see so much pain and suffering, I need beauty around me. It is something simple that refreshes my soul.

My compost is in the back corner of my garden, where I saw my neighbor digging hard in his garden. Nothing new. He and his wife are back there most of the year, planting, weeding, working on their herbs and vegetables. That is the way they live, because for them that is LIFE! Life – the same way as life was for my grandmother, my grandfather, my parents and for so many that taught me life in its simple reality.

We live in an age when a person’s value is measured by his/her productivity. Whatever we can claim to be the result of our work and effort has become the price tag on our identity. What a lie! By this measurement, they, our elders have questionable value. What about the wars, the persecutions, oppression, revolution, and the constant recalculation, and readjustment? Have they really lost their value?

The virus, that univocally fills the thoughts of the world pauses the question to all of us: What is the value of the person. What is the value of our elderly? What is the value of a life that is not mine?
I treasure them, I treasure our elderly. I treasure their resilience – a word that is often talked about from books, but for them it actually means endurance. For our elderly resilience is not a self-help agenda, for them it is simply LIFE!

One more thought about the attitude of our age, which is the Hunger for Superheroship! We would love to become superheroes yet all we need to do is wash our hands. We would love to turn the world upside down, yet all we need to do is stand a little further away from the other, we would love to show our ability of self-sacrifice yet all we need to do is stay at home whenever we can. We would love to be superheroes, yet all we need to do is protect our elderly.

An essential element of the Christian faith is the willingness of selfless sacrifice. Sadly, even we, Christians are often more ready to show great and visible sacrifice because we long for appreciation, respect and acceptance – which to a level is a natural part of our humanness. However, this time what is needed are the tiny, effortless actions which most people will never notice or appreciate. These are the gesture of responsibility, which can slow down the spread of the virus, with which we can protect our elderly, because their lives are just as great of a treasure as ours. Acting with responsibility is a manifestation of love. This is love, taking responsibility for each other in times of need with Christlike humbleness.

I hope my neighbors’ onions will grow, I hope they will have a rich harvest, I hope next spring I will see them planting again.

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