My family and I are Orthodox Christians. We go to Church, we confess, we take the Holy Communion, gladly participating to the Divine Liturgy as well as in other religious services, we have a spiritual father, we read about God, we talk about God, but I don’t believe it’s enough. I believe that all of these are only the beginning, they are only the basis on which a foundation, namely salvation, should be built together with God.
Last evening, at eleven o’clock, I was leaving work and passing by some apartment buildings under construction, I thought about those living in the streets. I know they are usually living in unfinished buildings because they are sheltered there, nobody really chases them away here.
And I was thinking how it would be for me to live in a building like that. It looked really depressing, it was dark, damp, cold, the wind was blowing, and I would have had to sleep on the floor, or lay on cartons as I know some of them do, or on old clothes.
I quickly came back to my senses and I realized I was going home, where it felt warm, the place was lit up, and Iulia and Sofia were waiting for me. Good food, a soft bed, a warm bath were waiting…
And I wondered how I can be a true Christian, if I’m sleeping in luxury and deep comfort and they are sleeping on the cement, in cold, having nothing, all by themselves. I have all kinds of things and they have nothing. What is Christianity after all? Why did God come on this earth and become human? Just so that we can go to Church and to be christians in appearance by having some sort of a moral attitude towards others?
Could being a Christian mean solely not swearing, being a non-smoker, talking nicely about God and reading about Him? Being a Christian doesn’t mean being “better” or humblier.
If I’m a true Christian how come I am not taking a poor person off the streets, away from cold, bringing him home so that he can sleep where it’s warm, at least for one night? If I am a Christian how come I’m not inviting some of those afflicted living in the streets, to have supper at my house, and give them food? How can I stand having absolutely everything I need and enjoying them all, while that homeless person is suffering from filth, loneliness, cold, forgotten by all?
Frankly, I’m telling you, I am not a Christian, I am almost nothing, null. How can I say I love God whom I’m not seeing, yet I don’t love the poor person I can see beside me, and my heart doesn’t ache for them? If my heart ached, I would have taken him in, and offered him a warm meal and a glass of water. This is why saints say that the love for a stranger is the greatest deed.
We must remember that among the criteria claimed by God at the universal trial are the following:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Mt.25,35)