Saturday, January 02, 2010

Worlds Apart

I have a couple friends just back from Africa. They spent four months there in an orphanage, caring for tiny children, giving them their hearts, and praying for them. Now they are half in this world, their home and half in Africa, wondering what is happening to their children. They dream of playing with them, of changing “nappies” and giving them hugs. How strange to think that there is another world, almost completely disconnected from ours. People eating and drinking, sleeping and waking, meeting their own crises oblivious to the problems we’re facing here.

And isn’t it amazing how many of these little pockets of existence there are? But we fly over them, forgetting the lives of those thousands of feet below us. The marvelous solution would be a road trip. Stop in each little town, visiting the post office and diner. Experience the real lives of people from here to there.

But I drive through my neighborhood all the time, and must realize that there are other little worlds going on of which I know nothing. What happens in my house is not connected at all to that of my neighbors. If I sing they don’t know. And when they cry, I have no idea. To take a walk down my street reveals a place quite different from driving. Is that door really red? What pretty landscaping! They must have children, for there are bicycles in the yard. This one is only a ranch, while those are two stories. One yard is fenced, and another has a hedge.

Even in my own life, the faces I pass, the actions I observe, the projects I share as a team – what is each person thinking? Why do they the things they do? And how do they feel about it? I know myself, that when alone I break into songs (and change keys mid-line). My thoughts are so random sometimes, and other times I’m thinking minor essays on the meaning of life. Only when with my closest friends and family do I share these things aloud. We independent individuals are so lonely. Each of us is an island of existence, with limited interaction and contact. How very strange, this vast confederacy of separate existences!

To God be all glory.

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