I was up early this morning and saw this quote on my Facebook news feed.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I've been sitting with it ever since and it seems to have raised more questions for me than answers!
What am I doing for others?
This turn on King's question puts the emphasis on me, on what I have been doing, am doing, or am not doing. It's a good question to help us take inventory of where we are at. No judgement, just gathering the data.
What are we doing as a community?
We are not alone in our efforts to tend to those around us. We have to look to other people and organizations of which we are participants -- our neighborhood, our city, our country, our world. Systemic problems often benefit from systemic solutions. How can we be part of those solutions to reach out to others in need and to change systems so that basic human needs like housing, healthcare, food, etc. are met?
What do others actually need?
Sometimes we think we know exactly what others need and are determined to give them what we think they want instead of what they actually need. What do we need to do to find out how what others need and find ways to tend to that?
What can I give to others?
Having a sense of what others need, we are in a better position to see what gifts we have that we can share, knowing that sometimes we are called to give even more than we think we can afford. The woman in the story of the Widow's Mite is a powerful witness to the gift of giving.
What does God think?
Well we don't exactly know the answer to this, after all, God is Holy Mystery! But God has given us an awe-full lot of good ideas on what we can and should be doing! :) Martin Luther King's question is indeed a Gospel question and we can have no doubt that God is right there with us as we reflect on, make choices about, and actually do something for others. And not only can we trust that God thinks this is a good idea, but we can count on God to help us every step of the way. God is great at helping us be on the lookout for reaching out to others!
Do something for others.