|Dear Members and Friends,
I am always asked this question the afternoon before my birthday: “What do you want for your last supper?” This refers to my last supper in my 38th, 41st, or whatever year it happens to be.
When I was first asked this poignant and disturbing question, I thought to myself, “I’m not ready to die yet!” As the years passed, this annual question felt more like a tease because I gave it such a startled reaction to it.
Now, though, I hear “What do you want for your last supper?” differently. It’s like checking my spiritual bucket list. I don’t want to eat anything, go anywhere, or do anything in particular. I want to be with family and friends.
I want to linger over a meal, to sit together enjoying each other’s company, live in memories about times past. You know, a birthday warmup.
I also remember people in my life who have died. I rejoice in some of these memories, but hurt when remembering others, the people I felt alienated from, where ill-will seemed to weigh more heavily on the scales than love, where I regret the hurt I caused that now cannot be resolved, healed, or forgiven.
What do I want for my last supper? I want to say “I love you,” to forgive and ask for forgiveness, to let go of – at least as much as I can – all that is petty and small in me, to communicate that the hurt in relationships is always bound by and insignificant in the context of love and friendship.
Today, we are isolated at home and know how many people – people serving around the world in this epidemic — won’t have opportunity to say “I love you” or “Please, forgive me.” Perhaps the question “What would you like for your last supper this year?” should not be delayed for a day on the calendar. And, perhaps remaining inside and wearing a mask when it is necessary to go out, is a way to say “Thank you” to those trying to save our lives.
Is this what Jesus meant? “Everyone will know you are my disciples when you love one another.”
P.S. We are meeting by Zoom. Zoom has sent information that it is increasing its security features. Here are some of the guidelines for our Zoom meetings: 1) passwords will be used; 2) invitees enter a waiting room until they can be identified and, then they will be admitted into the meeting; and 3) meetings will not be recorded.