Thursday, June 23, 2016

The sands of community...

Imagine a cup of sand - any color you like. That color is you.
And then in each hand you hold a cup of white sand and a cup of black sand.

Imagine the people you meet - imagine the color of their sand. Their color. Some red, some yellow, some blue, some green... And each holds a cup of white sand and a cup of black sand.

Each time we meet, we add a little color of ourselves in a larger container. That larger container is community. As we come together - as we interact - we leave something of ourselves. A part of that first cup of sand that is uniquely us.

And sometimes when we meet, we add a little white or a little black. The white represents our connection to the divine - that "something" that is beyond us. If we are connected to it, we cannot help but spread a little of it when we are in community.

The black represents our struggles and our connection to those struggles. We all have them and we all carry them in some form. It may be a weakness, an illness, or a burden we carry. We cannot help but spread a little of it when we are in community.

Now imagine all of our colors coming together in one large fish bowl of community. Beautiful layers of colors including a little white and a little black.

Now try pulling your sand out.

You cannot. And you cannot separate anyone else's sand. That's community.
We are not separate and can never be. We cannot remove all weakness, all illness, all burden. We cannot remove the divine. We cannot remove the beautiful colors that are unique.

There is beauty - even in the struggle - that black sand. We grow from struggle. My grandmother cautioned me when she was raising peeps that they needed to peck their way out the egg themselves so they would grow strong enough to survive. That was truth. But a friend recently told me that sometimes the shell is too hard for the peep to break through alone. If no one helps, they will die. We need to know when struggle is too great to carry alone.

Now imagine your cup of colored sand - your cup of white sand - your cup of black sand. This day, what did you spill into community?

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