Connectedness (And Other Made Up Words)

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I have been seeing way to many people at intersections lately. I love it!

Hello,

I’m back.
And I am wet.
Missed you all.

Life has been crazy.
House is looking great.
Detroit is amazing!
People are awesome and God is good.
Just last night we gathered and sang and dreamed and ate together at the Reach Detroit house.
Feels like I’m getting back into a flow of things so I can once again articulate thoughts and ideas.
At the same time so much has changed and there is a restlessness about it but somehow I have a lot of peace.

I am currently sitting in a coffee shop downtown in an effort to escape the rain and the thoughts and ideas started to flow so here we go.

A few minutes ago the coolest thing happened!
I was running across an intersection in the rain and I saw a friend from the complete other side of the state running to coney island (hopefully Lafayette if they know whats good for them).
Just before I could try to get their attention I totally blanked on their names. (I am so sorry Pace’s).

I live for those moments.

About 3 years ago I took the “Strength Finders” test in college (it’s worth looking into). The results told me that one of my major strengths I bring is connectedness (Totally get that from my dad and his dad and I’m sure his dad before him).

I’ve been seeing way too many people I know at intersections lately.
I guess thats where people intersect.
Our lives constantly crossing paths and forming bonds, relationships and communities.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk lately about how we are so plugged in to technology and virtual worlds that we become less engaged with the world around us, isolated. People I know have used those sort of ideas to make generalized statements about what my generation values and how much it differs from theirs like it is a bad thing. Maybe in some cases it is. Too much of anything is a bad thing (even cheesecake….).

One Thing I can say about our world right now is that we are really great at connectedness! We have all seen businesses funded, wells built where there was no clean water, and good friends of mine had their dogs surgery funded in less than 3 days by asking for help!

We are fantastic at this kind connectedness.
Good job world!

What I would like to talk about though, and maybe this is me trying to motivate myself, is that while we are great at rallying around, affirming and supporting digitally or even from a distance, there is a more personal kind of connection that I find myself lacking in at times.

Going out of my way lately to meet with people I had been meaning to has seemed to reveal a lot about the nature of this and even lead to amazing opportunities.
Talking with one of my neighbors the other day, she suggested that something even as simple as going to your neighbor and asking to borrow sugar creates a very down to earth trust, a “we are in this together now” feeling that strengthens relationship and community.

Who is your neighbor you might ask?

When Jesus was asked this question by a hater in the crowd trying to trip him up He responded in a very kung fu zen master like way that only He could, with a story.

In Luke 10 He tells of a man who was on a road trip and got into some trouble. A pastor and a worship leader walked by him but did not want to get there hands dirty helping him out so they kept moving right along. Then someone who was of a despised ethnicity in that day came along and more than helped the man out.

Jesus asks who was this man’s neighbor?

The answer of course is the one who had mercy on him.
The one who was there with him in his present time of need.

Jesus then uses His killer catchphrase “Go now and do likewise”.
(Jesus style kung foo wins every time).

But what if you are the one who needs help?

Please do not isolate yourself and feel like you cannot ask for help.
In the most famous “sermon” of all time Jesus had this to say. This did not make sense to me until it was pointed out recently.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 7:7-12

I always thought this was talking about how we should pray or be right with God.

Look closer.

This is a model on how we should posture ourselves when we are in need!
Ask. Seek. Knock.
He even mentions how we have silly worries that people would say no or give us something harmful.
It sounds ridiculous when you think about it but I have definitely had those irrational thoughts and fears before asking some people for help.

How would you like to be treated when you are in need or feel stuck? Treat others that way.

God gave a good gift of himself in his son and we get to give good gifts too!

Community is a powerful thing.
We need each other!

I see God in connectedness.
Moments like seeing people I do not get to see often enough at intersections seem to pull me right out of my head, out of planning my day or contemplating the last episode of “Stranger Things” I watched on netflix, and reconnect me with the present moment. It is a very powerful thing to be present with those in front of you and around you.

Open yourself up to the people that have been placed in your path.
Be the one who is there with them in their present time of need.
They are there for a reason and with the opportunities and care we can give for each other, the possibilities are endless!

Experience Hope,
Drew