When I was very young, before my mother died, we lived in an apartment complex. Apartment complexes in general are not always full of nature, but our apartment building backed up to a small lake. I spent days by myself outside running around that lake. In the winter, we ice skated on it. And in those days, I would look up at the sky and realize that all the things I could see – the sun, the sky, the rain and clouds, the ice and snow, the trees, the water – were all breathing in and out together. It all felt connected to me.
This feeling continued as I grew up. I became very interested in other people’s stories; what had happened to them and how they got where they were. I worked in a hospital in a big city and treated people from all walks of life. We treated the incarcerated, we treated many suffering from addiction. I still felt connected to so many that I met, even if their life circumstances were very different from mine.
Now I have my own family. All of our personalities are very different indeed. Sometimes the hardest test of learning teamwork and respecting each other’s differences begins right at home. We all are connected, but by more than just blood. In this day and age, when many of us have friends whom we feel closer to than family members, it is important to me that I stay very connected to my spouse and to our children through warmth, love, and fun.
This fourth week of Advent is about people, and the unity of people in all things in the world. To me, this fourth week is about good stewards of creation and all that is in it, but also being good stewards for ourselves and for others and the hope that we can bring each other. May you be a shelter in the storm for someone this holiday. May you always remember those who are in need and if you find yourself in a position to help, just help. There doesn’t need to be any judgement attached to it. Just be that help and shining light for someone.
We are all connected.
Blessings and love,