A recent article in the Faith & Values column of our local newspaper prompted me to write a note of appreciation to the author. She had written about the longing for connection, friendship and community that resides within our human hearts. I was surprised when she replied that she thought she was the only one thinking about these things.
Upon reflection, I’m not really as surprised as I thought at first. Our culture has morphed into an artificial “selfie” turf where our primary focus is ourselves, our keyboards, our Instagrams–a craving to carve some small slice of significance upon the landscape of globalization’s impersonal massiveness. We seem in a mad rush to digitalize everything. It may be that we’re losing touch with each other at the soul level in the process.
As a writer I strive to connect with this culture. At the same time I resist its whirlpool magnetism that seems bent on swallowing “me.” I read somewhere recently that what we writers have most to offer is not a “new” message, but a new voice forged from the fires of our unique encounter with life’s realities.
I think of my blogs as WORD PAVERS. Picture a patio floor made from bricks linked together in unique patterns or designs. The pieces are all bricks. Their uniqueness is forged “in community” through their connectedness. Another image might be a Scrabble board where 100 letter tiles can be arranged within a 225-space grid to form an exponential number of words.
Oh, yes! Don’t forget the enabling power behind the whole process. Behind the patio pavers stands someone with vision and the power to transform it into reality. Behind the words on a Scrabble board stand people who see word possibilities who have the tenacity to fit them into the grid. Behind each of us stands a Creator with a vision for our goodness and the power to inspire and equip us.
In this imagery we are ALL word pavers. We can link together creatively to form community. Each of us has our uniqueness, our strengths, our personal imprint upon society. Our greatest strength, however, is through community with God and others. Standing alone…disconnected, isolated, centered only in ourselves…our inner essence is diminished.
I believe positive, creative, healthy community begins in the soul between each person and God, and then expands in human cohesiveness. In this unity lies the heart of individual completeness. Like word pavers on a Scrabble board, we need God and each other in order to make sense out of life.
Responding to my note, the author above wrote, “My hope is that each one might reach one.” Well said. Together our positive possibilities are exponential.