Jeff and I were standing at the kiosk of the passport office on Monday. It’s our day off, and we have had to plan for a Monday when it didn’t matter how long we were having to wait. Turns out, we were done before 1:00p.m. that day. Not nearly as bad as we had expected. While we were at the kiosk, and the lady was making sure all of our documents were in order, I watched a truly moving and remarkable moment.
It all happened so naturally, and neither party realized any one was noticing. Across the room from us, there were 2 families, each with a toddler, at adjacent kiosks. These 2 children were behaving and not a peep was heard from either. They weren’t fidgety, just sitting on the counter, and waiting for mom and dad to be done with the officials.
As I watched, (because as a children’s pastor I just notice kids), the youngest boy stretched out his hand. The neighbouring child watched for a few moments and then stretched out his own. He poked the center of the younger boys hand, and the instant response was for the younger child to close his hand around the protruding finger. Then, the next moment, I watched as the two boys held hands around the partition. These boys were from 2 cultures that would not normally interact, or even get along. Yet, here they were, waiting to go home, just calmly holding hands. At one point, they weren’t even looking at each other, just holding the other’s hand. They were connected – while all of us in the building were trying very hard to not notice anyone else (except me, who was dying to take a picture – but thought the better of it).
It got me thinking, we all long to be connected. In the confusion or even the anonymity of life, we need to know that other people are near us, and are experiencing the same thing that we are. The apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12 that, “11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
(from New International Version)
We were designed and gifted to build the body of Christ until we ALL reach unity in the faith…what a cool picture. God, in His perfect plan, gave each of us gifts to be shared with the others in the Body so that we can reach unity and attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. We can’t reach that unity alone, we need to be connected just as the body is joined and held together by every supporting ligament , (that’s us). Without ligaments supporting us, we cannot function strongly.
I need you so I can stand tall in challenges, and I in turn will support you when you face your own issues. We need each other – not to share secrets, or to talk behind the others back, but to support – prayerfully, physically, emotionally – until we are strong again. Our congregation has as it motto/logo the following:
Without connecting, we cannot ever grow (personally), and a lack of growth will prohibit us from impacting those around us so that they can continue the cycle. Like those two boys at the passport office, I need your hand to hold. We don’t have to say much, just know that the other is there. In this way, the world will see us for Whose we are.