We’re all connected. We’re connected and we’re all made from the same stuff. Some say it’s stardust, which is a lovely thought, but sounds way too pretty for all the guts and brains. More importantly, our essence, our souls, are in the image and likeness of God and that’s where our connectivity lies. But while we may know this on some level, on the everyday life level, it can be difficult to always live like that’s the case.
I don’t know if you’ve already heard my favorite analogy but here it is (stick around and you will surely hear it again, eventually). At the airport, there are class distinctions, and they’re obvious and they’re accepted. You may have that TSA status that gets you through security more smoothly. That sets you apart. Ah, but, are you First Class? First Class is well… First Class.
People needing special assistance, military personnel, people with babies, and then First Class passengers are invited to board first before the “regular folks”. I always find it fascinating to watch the different groups sort out at the gate and often I can guess who are the seasoned “first class-ers” and who may be enjoying their first upgrade. It’s in the body language, the attitude, and sadly, even sometimes in the quality of the clothing and luggage.
Once everyone is seated and organized and the airplane door has shut, we’re all enclosed in our own little world for as many hours the flight will take. People are seated with their class – first, main cabin, extra legroom, exit row; strangers are sitting next to one another and perhaps not even taking a second to look at their seatmate or saying hello.
But should the pilot announce a long runway delay, the shared outrage changes the whole vibe. Even more so when that plane hits some serious, unexpected turbulence, bad weather, or an emergency landing. “How’s that extra legroom working for you, now?”. Suddenly, everyone’s connected by frustration, fear, and the feeling of helplessness. We’re all in this together. We’re all connected.
I was driving a couple of weeks ago and noticed a man in a snazzy convertible sports car. He passed me, over the speed limit but not dangerously fast, just fast enough to bring attention to his top-down, pricey sports car, Ray-Ban shades self. Soon after, traffic came to a crawl and I knew I’d be stuck creeping along the FDR drive for quite a while. Then I noticed, to my left, in the fast lane, the guy in the sports car. Well, will you look at that, I thought, he’s just like us now! Yes, we’re all in this together. We’re all connected.
We’re all connected but sometimes it takes a shared crisis to know that or feel that. Maybe that’s part of the human nature we all share and we can’t help being human in that way. But the call we have as Christians bids us to see the crises of others as our own. It’s very difficult to do that as our lives may already be too hectic, our own problems too much to bear. Yet, we’re all connected and it’s not just stardust, it’s the Spirit, the essence of God.
Recently, it’s been such a blessing to witness folks in our own community taking a “connected” approach, led by the Spirit and putting their stardust to work.
In March, Incarnation had a team of volunteers packing food for Haiti, and last week, parishioners spent an afternoon working at the Main Chance Food Pantry.
Every third Sunday we make lunches at coffee hour for the Ecclesia Ministries outreach and many come along and take part in worshipping with that community and distributing the lunches.
Our parish continues to support Moravian Open Door, working alongside the folks there to provide comfort items for those less fortunate and organizing fun events for the residents (I finally won at Bingo!).
We continue to come up with new ideas to support Hour Children (big benefit concert coming up July 13!).
And, a handful of our parishioners have embraced a homeless man who has been living on the street nearby who comes to our 8:30am service many Sundays. They have gently and persistently talked with him, encouraged him, and have been instrumental in the help he is now getting.
We do a pretty good job staying connected here at Incarnation, with our many different offerings for praying and worshipping together, our outreach and service opportunities, and with our social events. I look forward to continued experiences with you and invite all to consider engaging or re-engaging with us to experience our connectedness for a very simple reason – the simple joy of our connected souls being together and working together, Spirit and stardust.