what is mine to do

24 May

ὃ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν.
ha es-kin eh-poy-ay-sen.

“What she had, she did.”

So said Christ of the woman scorned by the rest of the room, the woman who had wasted her dowry-sized investment in one extravagant moment of devotion. The men counted the zeroes on the deposit slip that would never be for something that was never theirs. Christ countered with his own calculation: What she had, she did.

It’s said that near the end of his life, Saint Francis said, “I have done what was mine to do; now you must go do what is yours to do.”

I must do what is mine to do.

Such wisdom, this. So crucial for us to know and do that which is ours to do.

Oskar Schindler couldn’t stop the trains, but he could get a firehose and water down the cars. He could turn his factory into a refuge for 1100 Jews. What were 1100 out of so many millions – as is so powerfully captured at the end of Schindler’s List:

Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don’t know. If I’d just… I could have got more.

Stern:  Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them.

Schindler: If I’d made more money… I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I’d just…

Stern:  There will be generations because of what you did.

Schindler: I didn’t do enough!

Stern: You did so much.

[Schindler looks at his car]

Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car?
Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.

[removing Nazi pin from lapel]

Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.


Schindler: I could have gotten one more person… and I didn’t! And I… I didn’t!

What he had, he did.

It’s my new prayer through each day:

I must do that which is mine to do.

And maybe, just maybe, at the end of my days, I’ll warrant the epitaph on my tomb:

ὃ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν.


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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in haverings


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