We Cannot be Islands

It is amazing to me what a profound impact other people can have on the landscape of my own soul. We are communal creations — not made to live alone in this vacuum of self-righteousness that we think we have. It’s funny how, in American culture, we only respect individuality and this strange isolation of our beings from others around us. This is how we starve and die. The intensity of human experiences cannot be found in solo existences. We are meant to be touched by the lives of others, just as real and as painful and beautiful as our own.

A chapel speaker I heard today said that people with physical or mental disabilities often seek healing from God for their bodies. But, sometimes the healing doesn’t come by fixing the broken vessels that their souls live in. More often than that, God intended for healing to be partaken in in the body of Christ. She said that Christian community and acceptance was sometimes all the healing that is intended. We all are people with cracked and damaged vessels, but when we connect with those around us we find healing in being broken and accepted together.

I was not meant to be a penny, which is an isolated, identical copy of every other penny. I was meant to be one minute cell in a great, living organism that’s mission is to envelop the whole world with God’s mighty grace and love. As lives reach out and touch me, and I react to them and connect with other lives, I see my own self being molded and changed. Even the painful encounters — the ones that were not meant to heal or support — have a purpose within my existence. And I’d like to be part of a community that echos that truth.

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