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Intrinsically Connected

One of the best ways for me to get out of a funk is to focus on and thank God for nature. My whole attitude changes when I do this. I can be having the worst day, stop for ten seconds to look up at the sky or a nice view, and feel like a different person.

One day, I started wondering, “Why?” Although I’ve come up with several possible conclusions, some more concrete than others (how can you be sad when you’re surrounded by something that is so unique day to day, and yet so unchanging in its glory?), the one that stands out the most is that I value connectivity, and nature innately connects. When I look at the sky, I remember that I’m linked to a broader scheme outside of myself. This whole big, beautiful scene before me is shared by millions of other people, billions throughout history and we are all important and all touch one another’s lives.

Under this wide, blue sky, are the lives, choices, mindsets, destinies, futures, promises, pain, wounding, regret, legacy, generational blessings, and so much more, all interacting, influencing and affecting one another. More importantly, there are billions of souls created by and loved eternally by our One and Only Father.

One of the daughters of the pastor of my childhood church growing up wrote me a few months ago about the matter of connectivity within the larger body of Christ. She reminded me that when it comes to community, any investment is an investment in the eternal. Each person we interact with makes up our forever community.

“There will be pain, we are broken people, purchased and covered by the same blood,” she wrote. “There will be sweet, challenging, rich life. It is always worth the risk, and it is eternal.”

I pondered these statements for months. It’s so easy to get caught up in petty disagreements, or even feel derailed by big mistakes, ours’ and others’. But in the light of eternity, there is always grace.

In the past decade, I found myself, sometimes by choice, sometimes not, in the middle of messy situations with fellow believers—situations that caused deep wounds. I have wondered time and time again if this would be an impossible situation to resolve and, really, if it was worth trying. But, I have never known God to think that way.

In one of the situations, I remember lying down to soak, just asking God to show me His perspective on my connection with some friends I didn’t understand.

I asked God how to proceed. Should I set more boundaries? If so, which ones? Should I break ties? If so, what does that look like? Should I pursue with all my might? If so, what is the first step? I didn’t get any answers.

So, I asked God, “What is your hope for our friendships? How do you see us?”

He showed me a vision of all of us in heaven, worshiping God together. We were all unashamedly and authentically worshiping in our own way, and focused on the Father. We had no animosity and fully accepted everyone around us. And, we could see each person clearly—and they were all beautiful. None of our earthly pain and confusion mattered anymore. We were surrounded by the light of His great glory and glowing with love for Him and one another.

I remembered my friend’s words in a way that made them not a lofty, sweet idea, but a deeply important reality. If we will all be in heaven worshiping God for an eternity, how then shall we live here? With grudges, full of self-righteousness about our own needs or wishes? Or seeking to understand, and not just to be understood, seeking to love and not fighting to be loved, seeking Him and letting Him take care of the rest?

In the light of eternity, all that matters is love, grace and Him.

Every person you interact with, the person next to you in the coffee house, the driver next to you on the high way, the visitors at your church, your closest friend and the person you understand the least, was designed by God, and is one of Jesus’ great treasures.

There is no “us” and “them”, we are all one. We are all intrinsically connected.

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