Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: Connection

Today's host Ramona asked us to write about connection. Connection is very important to me; I value my friends and family and wish for more time with them. But so much of my experience of connection involves separation. I feel pain because I am far from those I love, because either I leave or they do. Sometimes it feels as though it would be easier never to make connections, since it is so difficult to lose them.

Henri Nouwen, in his book Life of the Beloved, addresses this problem. He talks about how we are "called to give our very lives to one another and that, in so doing, we become a true community of love," but adds that we can give ourselves away because we can
"trust that our little lives will multiply themselves and be able to fulfill the needs of countless people....The fruitfulness of our little lives, once we recognize it and live it as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we ourselves can imagine. One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in a very rich soil. For this seed to bear fruit, it must die. We often see or feel only the dying, but the harvest will be abundant even when we ourselves are not the harvesters. How different would our life be were we truly able to trust that it multiplied in being given away! How different would our life be if we could but believe that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every bit of joy and peace will multiply and multiply as long as there are people to receive it...and that -- even then -- there will be leftovers!"
If we do believe this, we can invest ourselves in the people God puts in our lives at any given time, even if the connection is short and soon broken. We can trust that God will keep giving us people to invest in.

You know what? That is a lot easier said than done. I have recently lost several close friends, and it's challenging to keep making new friends at all. Anybody who's read this blog much at all has seen this as a recurring theme in my life. Nouwen's words help me think about it and deal with it.

Be sure to visit Ramona's blog to see how others have responded to this prompt.


Irene Latham said...

Dear Ruth - this separation theme... isn't it a theme in EVERYONE'S life? ISn't it something that connects us all on the most basic level? 20 + years ago when we moved into a neighborhood, I remember asking the question of neighbors about how long they expected to stay in the neighborhood... and I invested in the relationship accordingly (only investing in the ones who said they were staying!). It's taken me a long time to learn to love the relationships that are short, transient, fleeting when what I craved after my chaotic childhood was permanence, stability, the promise of long-lasting love. BUT. Now I see the world differently. I've learned to appreciate the temporary... because it's ALL TEMPORARY. Sigh. So much love to you, dear Ruth! xo

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, you are providing us with some deep pondering tonight. I have watched dear friends pass on recently and a very close friend moving on. My 90-year-old uncle is not able to remember simple pieces of information. It is hard to feel separate and alone at times. It is also difficult to imagine others' hurts. Faith is our salvation and so we live life to its fullest and be present in its moments.

Ramona said...

Ruth, I thought I owned this book, but I can't find it. I'm requesting it from the library now. It's hard to invest when the connection is short-lived, but your words remind us that God calls us to community, no matter how brief the connection. Thanks for your words today, Ruth. Prayers for new found friends in your life.

Ramona said...

I've posted already, but it failed to show up. Thanks for your reflection and the encouragement to invest in the people God puts in our path. Prayers for new found friends for you!