Basil of Caesarea wrote, “When someone steals a person’s clothes, we call him a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to those who need it; the shoes rotting in your closet to the one who has no shoes. The money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.”
This one takes a re-read, go ahead, read it niiiiiiice and slooooooow.
Ouch, Basil, this one cuts to the core. Are you really saying that I could be the most selfless person and still be a thief? I could donate oodles of my money to those who are hurting, I could tutor & hug orphans, help old ladies and gents across the street, I could write thank-yous when people send me a gift, I could be a wonderful and selfless and supporting wife, and great at all the relationships I’m blessed to be apart of. Basically, I could be a saint in my own eyes & in the eyes of others. But I’m still a thief if I’ve got extra clothes? Extra bread? Must I have nothing? Must I only have one pair of underwear? And the only way I can have two pairs of underwear is if everyone, EVERYONE? has two pairs as well?
Basil, I’m screwed. How hopeless am I?! Will my whole view on life have to change because I’ve got more underwear than some? I mean, c’mon, I don’t even have that many pairs. Yup, I know. I’m doing it again. Making light of a really serious situation by trying to make myself laugh. Trying to make you, Basil, laugh. I really want to distract you, because these words are heavy.
H E A V Y
on my soul today.