A certain very old hermit fell ill and suffered alone, for there was no one to be found in the wilderness to care for him. Seeing his patience, God enlightened a young monk to go to his hut. When he found him, gravely ill, he lovingly stayed at his side to ease him. He washed him, made him a mattress from straw, and cooked him a little food.
“Believe me, brother,” the elder told the monk with gratitude, “I had completely forgotten that there were such comforts for humans.”
The next day the brother took him wine to give him strength. When the elder saw it, he became tearful and murmured: “I had not expected such attention until my death.”
No one appears to be reading what I write in reflection of these Sayings, so I guess that means it is safe for me to pour my heart out.
This Saying really speaks to me. I know from first-hand experience what it is like to be very ill and ignored. The illness is much harder to bear when there is no human compassion. If God enlightened anyone to check in on me, that person withstood the nudge. My feelings of abandonment have been triggered. My sense of myself is that I am an excellent friend, that I am a servant to the Body of Christ. But I gotta tell you, waiting for people to remember that I exist is hard. Is painful.
We are made for incarnation. We long to have God’s love for us made incarnate in family and friends. We are not meant to go through life with no human relationships.