Saturday, July 30, 2011
a shared story?
Perhaps we state the painfully obvious as an opportunity to express a shared experience (I’m hot, your hot, we have a shared experience). Maybe we need a way to express verbally our experiences of physical discomfort or annoyance. Perhaps we are just looking for some small talk and weather is always an easy changing subject. I actually believe all three of these responses are way we bother to state the obvious. However, I think these reasons need to be way we also share ourselves beyond the weather.
We are beings made to share and express our feelings. Poetry, literature, movies, and Facebook are all ways we have learned to express ourselves (for better or for worse). In fact are born able to express discomfort or unhappiness in their cries. After only a matter of months do they learn to smile, to giggle, to whine, and even communicate. God has designed us to be in community and to share our experience with each other. However, I think we are in a time when we are separating our feelings from true community. We still have poems, literature, and other ways to communicate our feelings, but we have lost the art of having a conversation with people about our feelings in an open and honest way. We are taught in a frightening world where any world can become viral in moments, and any feelings and become public domain, to protect our feelings and emotions. Christ calls us to carry each other’s burdens, but we do not know how to carry or even share the burdens we have. Even if we find ourselves in a moment of burden sharing, we take a great risk or exposing ourselves to uncompassionate community.
We as a people need to find a shared experience to build a community around. This shared experienced used to be religion. I believe that churches and Christ followers still use Christ as their shared experience. As Christians, Christ is our center and our focus to enter into a shared community where we then learn to share our burdens and selves. We share not only with God, but also with each other. But I believe we need to find a shared experience to reach out to our non-believing brothers and sisters. War, politics, and epidemics are sometimes used to accomplish this, but these moments of tragedies are insufficient. Our nation, our world needs to find a shared story and experience to learn to open up to so that community, feelings, and burdens and be shared and shouldered. I think sometimes medicine and science is used to accomplish this task, but I find it very limiting and it leaves me wanting.
I don’t know if there is a shared story or experience that can even be had. If this is the case it is a very sad and fallen world we do live in. Perhaps the only shared story, the only shared experience worth engaging in is the narrative of God and his son Jesus. Perhaps the only story that we have in common is our creator, our redeemer, and our God. It may be that it is still our calling and commission to invite people into this shared story for no other one can fulfill our satisfy us. Perhaps this is the only story and experience that truly makes us human and whole. Wondering what your thoughts are. Is there a shared story beyond Christ that we can share? Is there something out there that can bring us into true humanity outside God?