Monday, November 12, 2012

A Bridge

Today started off with a reminder of how small I am.

And it quickly moved into a day where I was reminded how incapable I am of relating to so many people. Sometimes, at the climax of my zeal, I think I can identify with every single person in the world on some level. Today I realized that it might be ridiculous to entertain such a thought.

If we were playing 'Never Have I Ever', I think I would lose...because I haven't really experienced a lot of things that a lot of people have.

Let's see...
Never Have I Ever...
  • been drunk
  • had sex
  • lost a loved one
  • been poor (like, truly poor)
  • been homeless
  • been severely injured
  • had severe health problems
  • been friendless
  • been abused
  • been raped
  • had an eating disorder
  • seriously considered suicide my only option
  • cut myself
  • done drugs
  • been abandoned by my family
  • questioned my sexuality 
  • gone without food
... there's probably a lot of other things that could be added to the list, but those were the first ones that popped into my mind after 5 minutes of thinking about it. The point isn't to sound like a 'Goody-Goody'...although, as I re-read the list, I realized that's how I might come across. The point is to admit that I rarely know what a lot of other people have gone through or dealt with on a firsthand basis. Sometimes the differences in our experiences make me feel as though no bridge could ever be built to close the gap. 

Because I don't know
I don't know what it's like to struggle with addictions, or life-altering questions, or diseases, or hurts, or pains, or losses that are so deep that they feel defining...and maybe they actually are defining. 

I wonder how much these different experiences keep us from ever wanting to even try to bridge the gap, regardless of which side we are on. If I adopt a mentality of, 'I'll never understand...' and they adopt a mentality of 'She'll never understand...' then we end up more distant than ever. 

In a world where I can quickly point out my insignificance (i.e. the video above), I'd venture to say that we can still find meaning and purpose. I wonder what it might be like to bridge the find commonalties among us. Regardless of our past experiences, of our backgrounds, of our challenges and struggles... might there ever be a way for me to relate to you, and for you to relate to me? 

Perhaps my grandiose visions of finding ways for us all to identify on some level aren't that idiotic after all. Perhaps there is a way. Perhaps it starts with a mentality of, 'I may not fully understand, but that doesn't mean I can't try...' or, 'She may not fully understand, but that doesn't mean I can't talk to her or trust her...'. Perhaps it begins with a willingness to connect, to see things from a different perspective than before, to remain open-minded to people who may be different from you...whether they've experienced a lot or very little. Perhaps it moves us into a realm of no judgement. 

Maybe there's purpose and meaning in that. 
And maybe, at the core of all of our differences, there might be something that unifies us all. That despite the degree of our struggles and pains, we all still have them. We're all still broken. We're all still searching for answers. We're all still desperate for something more than this. 
It's a place of commonality, a plane we all exist in. A place where even in my past travels overseas, where I literally have nothing in common with those that I'm with (including culture and language), I can feel more connected than ever. 

I don't know if you can look past my naivety and inexperience. I don't know if you can look past the fact that my life seems pretty blessed. I don't know if you can see beyond the notion that I'm a goody-two-shoes (and if you've read my blog much, you probably can). I hope you can. I hope these things don't keep us from finding commonalities, from finding deeper connections. 

I hope that although my experiences might be different from yours, that it doesn't cause us to halt as we exchange stories, as we share dreams, as we move forward into the future. I hope we aren't too quick throw each other to the curb because our worlds are too different...I hope we aren't too quick to check out and give up. 

I hope we remember what we have in common.
I hope we remember the thing that we all need, the thing that we're all desperate for.
For all have sinned and fallen short. 

I need Jesus.
I'm guessing you do, too.
Let us not forget how united we are in that, no matter how different we may appear on this side of life. And may everything else pale in comparison ...

No matter how big the universe is, and no matter how small we might be (and often feel)...may we not forget what matters. And may we always try to bridge the gap. 

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1 comment:

  1. "I need Jesus.
    I'm guessing you do, too.
    Let us not forget how united we are in that, no matter how different we may appear on this side of life"

    Well said. We're not united only by our common need, but our common Lord, too. We are even more united in Him than we were in our need - because our need drives us away from each other, but Christ binds us to him and to each other.

    On this side of the new creation we're all saved by grace - the great equalizer. We may still be on this side of life (do you mean heaven?), but it's a whole new life than we knew before. Talk about paling in comparison...can't help but remember Paul's "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus..."

    And He's probably the only reason I can ever really relate to anyone else the way you've talked about it...

    He's pretty awesome.