Monday, April 15, 2013

we belong to each other

my sister's family

This weekend I was able to travel to Virginia to visit my sister and her family.  I had the privilege of spending a regular day with my nephew (almost 5) and two nieces (2 and 6 months), which is pretty rare.  Living so far apart, we are usually only together for special occasions, which can feel too busy and too scheduled for real quality time.  Saturday, though, we were able to leisurely enjoy the town they have fallen in love with, playing at the river, strolling downtown.

On the plane ride home, while reading one of my new favorite books Carry On, Warrior, I was thinking about how much we really do belong to each other.  Sure, I haven't seen my nephew and nieces in a year, but they are mine.  They are mine to pray for and lift up and protect and love.  Their little family and my little family are interwoven in so many ways.  And being in Indiana, I don't get to see my dear Tennessee friends often.  But they are mine.  They are mine to pray for and lift up and encourage on their journeys.  Despite time and distance, we truly do belong to each other.  We are a species wired for connection, made to crave community.  Luckily, that community need not be restricted by tangible boundaries.  Our communities can stretch and change and withstand and endure.

So as I was pondering all of this, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred.  I love marathons.  I have never run one (13.1 miles is enough for me), but I am inspired by those who do.  The endurance and strength a marathon requires is symbolic of so much in life.

After we put the twins to bed, we turned on the news and watched the images now seared on America's mind.  Horrific.  Senseless.  Terrifying.  But what most struck me the first time I saw the film of the bombs exploding was that so many, including police, military personnel, and civilians, rushed toward the blasts.  Rather than running away, they ran towards the injured.  They rushed into danger for the sake of strangers in need.  They get it.  They know that we belong to each other.  That we ALL belong to each other.

Prayers and love to all those affected today.

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