Over at the blog Faith and Theology, Kim Fabricius has his now regular doodlings on life, faith and disbelief at what Christians get up to, think, and how we sometimes behave in ways that bring Jesus into disrepute!
Amongst his later comments I found the following poignant, pointed comment about what matters, who matters and why.
Want to pare your Christmas card list? Ask yourself: if I am afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, who will come to visit me, sit with me, stay with me, speak my name, talk about the old days, and, above all, tell me how wonderful it is to see me?
In one of those strangely compelling connections of thought we sometimes have, I remembered Jesus words about who to ask for dinner. Not those who can reciprocate, not those who will even appreciate, but those who can't pay back, those who may not even notice your kindness they are so hungry. Or those who no longer recognise you, have no way of remembering your kindness from one minute to the next, and therefore for whom friendship as the collected memories of love, companionships and shared life, now has to be lived in the present moment. So ask those who will never know it was even you - better still, visit those who don't even know who you are and why you are there. And perhaps, then our kindness, compassion and mercy is the beginning of that habitus of friendship that is something of what it means to accept Jesus' own invitation to "take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and my burden is light, and you will find rest for your soul" - [and perhaps, through you, so will others]
And maybe going back to the Christmas card list, I want to make sure there are the names of those who will not send me one, may not even know any longer who I am or what a Christmas card stands for. But I do, and somewhere in that mystery we call love, such otherwise pointless gestures taken on the significance of sacrament. And that sacrament becomes the more redemptive of friendship if it is embodied because I take the card rather than post it.