Making Connections

Reading Big Erik’s post yesterday prompted me to share my thoughts about the need human beings have to connect with others and be understood. Often, happily, that occurs with people in our families, faith community, social circles or work environment. Right now I am in that blessed place in my own life, but it hasn’t always been that way.

In thinking back over some periods in my life, especially the long-ago miserable teenage years, I can understand how some people get caught up in self-destructive relationships and situations. For me, even more important than growing closer to others has been growing closer to God and trusting God’s unconditional love. My spiritual journey brings me nearer to both God and others as I seek glimpses of the Divine in all Creation.IMG_2453

15 thoughts on “Making Connections

  1. Here is a thought. Your writing is without a doubt exceptional. But here is my question and I have had it for a long time. Almost all deeply religious people write to an audience that is also deeply religious. To me, that makes little sense. Brining people to a god they have already accepted is pointless. They have already made the trip. By invoking all sorts of references to God and religion in your writing, you offend and scare off the people that need you the most. All the flowery Goddy talk is bunk to the skeptics. Is there an answer to this conundrum?

    • I asked myself the same question at least two recent Sundays while I was in church and visiting with friends after. Were we preaching to the choir? Sometimes I think we are – and on those two days I was a tad irritated by that.

      Other times it’s more than that and we’re not, frankly, thinking about the skeptics. It can be a form of fellowship – sharing insights about something important to us happens when we talk shop over lunch or talk about last night’s game at the water cooler, and such and hoping people will respond with a new or richer insight. Sometimes it’s a source of encouragement, something to draw on in a difficult time or just throughout the daily grind or when advocating for the inclusion of all God’s children in the life of the church. Other times its simply an act of praise or worship – similar to what we do in church on Sunday that doesn’t have to be limited to that one setting.

      And sometimes we take away a nugget that sticks with us so long we keep going back to it when we need it or just to enjoy it and one day discover ourselves in the time and place when a few simple words drawn from that recollection touches the heart of the person we’re with – whether God is named in that moment of not.

      Thanks for provoking me to think about that question some more.

      • Well put. It’s clear we owe a measure of dedication to those of different beliefs and faiths, but also to those of our same flock. To think we are any better or worse, more right or more wrong would be a betrayal of our humanity and the true nature of our faith.

  2. First, I thank you for the kind words about my writing and taking the time to comment. I’m giving a lot of thought to responding to the rest of your comments because I take them seriously. I would like to find a balance so that I don’t drive away people of other faiths or no faith and I do not intend to offend or disrespect them in any way. We all have much to learn from each other. More on this in an upcoming blog post.

  3. You have to stay true to your faith and let God and the holy spirit lead you. It might offend some but it would never be false. Keep up the great writing.

  4. I am curious if Photoman intended to use the phrase “Brining people to a god they have already accepted…” As most cooks know, brining enhances and restores moisture to a meat that may be a little tough. And isn’t that all of us? Even “deeply religious” people can have the dark night of the soul and need the encouragement. With your blog, I can’t see how a seeker could be offended. As one of a different religion than you, (I think our faith to be the same) I am encouraged to reap the benefits of your spirituality.

  5. I believe there is a deep need to reach out into denominational, interfaith, and secular communities with words of hope and encouragement. There is also a need to focus on the audience demographic which most calls to you, whose lives will be most impacted by your skills and experiences. Trying to be truthful and useful to too many leaves you unable to connect in a meaningful way with anyone. I don’t think we ever reach the whole world alone.

    Write what you are called to write, reach everyone you can in whatever niche you are called to speak to, and then ask them to share whatever they have learned or gained with someone else.

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