Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Listen to Your Life

Photo: S. Nancy Bauer
“What exactly is LIFE?”

“What are you asking me?  Of course I know what LIFE is?”

“So is LIFE the same for me sitting here in my small room or you in a family home or on a yacht or in a hovel?  What really is LIFE?”

Frederich Buechner encourages us to listen to our life and defines life as “being WITH.  So is it the icon on  my wall that I am with?  the books gathering dust on my desk?  the children you may have created?  the clock ticking away next to the land telephone and the stereo? or is LIFE the wide screen TV or the fragrances wafting from the kitchen stove? Or perhaps I am with the bouquet of roses on the  mantel or the sweet little kitten asking for food or the five letters in this morning’s mail asking for funds to serve a worthy cause.

YES, all of these are LIFE, my LIFE, part of the mystery we call LIFE because that is one way we can distinguish being alive from being dead. “LIFE is  being with,” says Buechner,  “all of this is in it with  us.  We’re all in it together.  Life is it.  Life is with.”  He goes on to tell of a learned lecturer and theologian who, after giving his thoughts on the topic of miracles, was asked by one of his audience to give a specific example of one such miracle. His answer was: “There is only one miracle.  It is LIFE.”  Then he asked a series of probing questions:

  • Have you wept at anything during the last year?
  • Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty?
  • Have you thought seriously of the fact that someday you are going to die?
  • More often than not, do you really listen when people are speaking to you instead of just waiting for your turn to speak?
  • Is there anybody you know in whose place you would volunteer to be if you had to suffer in doing so?

If your answer to all or most of these questions is NO, the chances are that you’re dead.”

WOW!  “LIFE is with.  We’re all in it together or it in us.  Life is it.  Life is with. . . “

And God, I ask myself?  Yes, God is with us, no  matter what! 

Can we be with one another and with all else that is?  That’s the bigger question.

Renée Domeier, OSB


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