“We’ve been buddies for over 60 years,” was the opening comments as he began the eulogy. “Our lives were intertwined where his life was an extension of mine, and my life an extension of his, and I learned a lot from him and he learned a lot from me.” As I listened more to this wonderful, beautiful story of two unlikely fellows making a choice to be connected and include each other in their lives, it was heartwarming, encouraging, and even challenging. They were as connected as if they were born into the same family, but even more so for their connection came from a willful choice to weave into each other’s lives and be there for each other. They fixed cars together, went on family camping trips and vacations with each other. They were best of friends, yet more. Their inclusion and connection enhanced their lives.
The Bible has a lot to say about the value of our interactions with others.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
We were never meant to go through life alone. Now sure some people have a lot connections and other have less, but it’s not the amount, it the willingness to include and be included. This is not easy in our individualistic, me-centered culture where we want people to connect and be included in our world without trying to weave together their interests and integrate their ideas, thoughts, and insights. That takes work, but there is a beauty in experiencing the enhancement of being connected. It’s seeing we can be better, and they can too, as we learn and teach each other, help and gain assistance, lead and follow, and give and receive. It is the mutual benefit of being connected and making the choice to be inclusive.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
So let’s be part, or continue to be part, of the beauty of connection and inclusion. Create some margin in life for interactions with others. Include people in your life and be willing to be included in theirs. You will be better for it and enjoy a beautiful experience.
Church can be a place to interact with others where we can connect and include. If you do not regularly attend a church, we would like to feel welcome to attend Cypress Church or one or our branch churches. Our web site has all the information for all our campuses: www.cypresschurch.net . You might just find your next best friend!
Seeking that beauty of connection and inclusion along with you,