I haven’t done enough… Schindler’s List.
A recurring theme is: we feel that we still have so much to do! So much misery on the globe, so many people in need and I would like to help them all(!). But I can’t.
That always reminds me of Oskar Schindler. He was a famous man from World War II. He was able to save the lives of 1,100 Jewish people by employing them in his factory in Krakow, Poland. With everything he could he “bought” them free. Money, time, resources, everything was used to save one more person from death.
And then comes the end of the film. Before he leaves, he gives final instructions to the people he has saved. (we will come back to that later) And he also receives a “credential letter” from the people he was able to save, containing a report of what he has done for them. Everyone signed that letter… And they gave him a ring with the inscription:
Whoever saves even one life is considered, according to Scripture, to have saved the entire world.Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a)
At first his reaction is (literally) speechlessness and then, the first thing he says is:
I could have saved more people.
To which one of the rescued people says: “Thanks to you, 1100 people were saved, look, there they are!” and then Oskar Schindler says the following:
I could have done so much more, I threw away so much money, I didn’t do enough, look at this car… why do I have it? It has the value of 10 people! This pin I’m wearing: 2 people. This is gold, that would have been 2 more people…. maybe only one, but that would have been one more person… I could have saved one more and I didn’t do it…. (crying)…..
And with that the film ends… with a crying man saying:
I could have done more, but I didn’t….
And now to today… Jesus also gave us instructions before He left. These were (literally) His last words to me:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20
Those were His final instructions for us all. You… and me.. And I… have I really done enough today? That question keeps nagging at me. Was this really all I could have done or could I have got one person more up off the streets… could I have fed one more person, could I have given one person some clothes, could I have had one more conversation to help one more person make one person a deciple for His glory? Just one more? Today?
How do you deal with it? Have i done enough today for humanity? Or do you have the feeling that you have only been working for the boss’s money again? And i agree, you can’t buy bread without that money, but where is the limit? One day you will be asked… what have you done for Me?
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 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, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”Matthew 25:31-46
Wow… left or right… today, please…. wow…couldn’t it have done one thing more? And what does that “credential letter” says that i recieved? How many people signed it?
Indeed…, I sometimes cry at the end of the day… was this it and was it enough?