Imagine that the world is a circle,
that God is the center,
and that the radii are the different ways human beings live.
When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle,
they come closer to one another at the same time as to God.
The further they move from one another,
the farther they move from God.
The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another.
And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.
~ Dorotheus of Gaza
All around the world everyday there is pain and suffering. All around the world everyday there is joy and transformation. Every hour of every day. These acts of holding on and letting go happen to human beings. To the old ones and young ones. To haves and have nots. Red and yellow, black and white – all precious in God’s sight, we live in and through these life moments.
Last Saturday I heard on the news that there had been more than 200 earthquakes in Alaska this past week. I had had no idea. I’ve never been to Alaska. It’s not on my radar. Last week the earth was shifting and wailing, and I had no idea. I wasn’t paying attention.
In this internet time it is so easy to have access to so much and not really know very much. Many of us live our lives with information readily at our fingertips and in many ways, humans have never been as disconnected. Human beings, one to another. Seeing one another passing on the street. Listening for one another's voice. Actually looking for and seeing one another, looking one another in the eye.
Have you been on a bus and watched your fellow pilgrims? Or in a restaurant really seen your fellow patrons? Most all of us are all looking at our phones. True confession: our sons can send text messages all through a meal and look like they just have their hands in their laps. Seriously??? What happened to eye contact? What happened to “What did you do today?” “What did you learn today?”
This 6th century monastic gives us words to serve as our guides as we move through our Advent days. The closer we come to God, the closer we come to each other. And the closer we come to each other, the closer we come to God. In these growing colder days, drawing closer might be just what we need to stay warm. And, lest we forget - we are not alone.