We certainly need more authentic connections.
On Facebook and Twitter we can accumulate Likes and Followers by the thousands yet still feel separated and alone. In the midst of big crowds and mega-churches too many people walk in isolation even as they bump into one another.
Our Western Culture fosters asense of independence and autonomy. “I don’t need you.” “I am strong enough, don’t give me your pity or care.” We don’t trust others so we show the world a sanitized and approved version of our selves.
To fill that emptiness, we crowd the spaces of our lives and calendars with stuff and activities. At the end of the day we still feel neglected and abandoned. “No one knows my needs so no one cares for me.
Where do I belong?
I am a member of this organization. I work for this division of this company. I live in this neighborhood, but I don’t know any of my neighbors.
Where do I belong? I don’t know anymore.
“Know that the Lord is God—
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people,
The sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:3 (CEB)
Gratitude creates community and intimacy.
What happens to strangers when you simply say a genuine “Thank you?” In the midst of hurried distractions, a moment of connection is created. We say that we are each human beings who have made a difference in each other’s world. You care for me, even if it is selling me groceries, and I honor you in your work and life.
“In the beginning, the Beloved loved Love into being.”
What a wonderful paraphrase of Genesis 1:1. The world is not random and accidental even when we can’t see the orderedness of every circumstance, Love is the source energy and wants to create love in us.
And if Love creates us with love, then we have a place where we belong: the heart and hearth of Goodness and Mercy and Compassion. As we awaken to this Belovedness of life then we can let go of our defenses and our drive to impose ourselves upon others.
In every place and moment of beauty, whether it is the song of the bird or our Mother, we are surrounded with love. In the explosion of autumn and spring colors, as well as the chaotic rainbow of a child’s refrigerator drawing, love splashes us with hues of light. And when we enjoy the richness of a meal with friends or even just a savored spoonful of soup alone, the Love of all Creation feeds us.
In gratitude we celebrate our belonging!
No longer abandoned and neglected, with thanksgiving we begin to see that life nurtures us. Compassion embraces us as we open our hearts to those who reach out to us.
Love creates us with love and for love.
We are most fully alive when we gratefully love others and open ourselves to be loved.