What do a prison officer, insurance agent, office manager, executive leader, and banker have in common? When one looks on the surface, not much bridges the gaps. Different educations, interests, and cultures would seem to be obstacles that few could bridge. Yet they are friends.
Yesterday’s conversation reminds me of a spiritual writer’s observation; “The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12.9)
In our case, there was a resiliency that comes when the diversity is of interest. One could tangibly feel that their caring comes without agenda, it simply is. The stories, observations, and viewpoints helped each see beyond her/his horizon. We could see and feel more with the other. Community works.
The examples can be found all around us. Birthday party pictures celebrating a half-century milestone warm my heart. Three sisters reveling in the bond that mysteriously binds them together is a monument to hope. These stand in contrast to a fear infused young man who felt it necessary to be a tool of terror.
In the caldron of pain and hope, beauty and sadness, I find myself reminded of the role community plays in our lives. There are times when I take it for granted. With today’s dawn I am reminded that having people in our lives that care about us is a gift. I am confident that I can turn to my community; in this knowledge I am stronger. Their insights and wisdom cover my weaknesses. Their compassion is an invitation to reach for something better.
Life and uncertainty know each other well. There are reasons, many material and significant, for us to embrace fear. My community tells me that there is an alternative. In walking with others, we are stronger. In listening to their stories, we are wiser. In working together, we can make a difference. There is more than our happiness at stake; we can make a difference for everyone. It is a window that rests in diversity. Our lives are about more.