(February 14, 2007)

My last post and the discussion that followed has led me to this one: If we are to give, if we are to feed others, we ourselves need to be fed. If we are to listen to others, we also need to have someone listen to us. If we are to give bread, we have to have bread to give.

Many good givers exhaust themselves of resources by not letting others give to them. They’re good at what they do, but there are times when they need to allow themselves to receive as well. And it’s best for them to receive, not feeling that they’re a burden, but with a spirit of gratitude. This is often hard to do, especially for the big givers.

I am a writer. But I can’t write well without opening my mind to what others are saying and writing. Reading (feeding myself) is important to me if I am to write (feed others).

I like to help others. I want to love others, as Jesus commanded us to do. But if I am to do that well, I need to feed on God’s love. I need to ask God to fill me with his love and then I’m better able to share that love with others. I need to help others but I also need people to help me.

It takes two kinds of people to make our circle of friendships complete: the ones who we can support and the ones who will replenish us by supporting us. We need to do both: to feed and be fed.