Peace and grace to you and through you
Those of us who have access to the Internet have access to almost every contour of every country of every culture on the planet. Without moving out of our home and office we can visit the homes and offices of others regardless of where they are located on this Google globe. We can even explore outer space and witness close-ups of stars exploding. Never before has the rich diversity of the world and cosmos been within the reach of our fingertips to explore as it is today.
And yet research tells us that instead of using the Internet to expand our worldview we use it to shrink it. We do this by searching for and following and befriending people or projects that affirm our existing worldview. This is how birds of a feather flock together in today’s world. The Internet becomes little more than an echo chamber of our own viewpoints. This emboldens us to falsely believe that our way of seeing the world is the only right way – after all everyone agrees with us. The Internet becomes a self-affirming loop akin to what philosopher’s call “a circular argument” in that we assume in the beginning what we are trying to prove in the end. Oh! and woe to anyone who breaks into this circle of agreement with a different view … they will soon be shot down by the birds-of-a-feather-flock-together’s deadly sharp tweets.
In the Gospels we see Jesus crossing social boundaries all the time – moving from the margins to the center and back again. Hanging out with outcasts one minute and leaders the next. Eating with law-breakers today and policy makers tomorrow. The employed and the unemployed are known by Jesus, as are the hungry and the well fed. To be a follower of Jesus is to be a person who seeks out diversity. Jesus followers are people who use every means at our disposal to cross over to the other side to repeatedly learn that the other side is less “other” than we originally thought. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit of exploration.
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
~ David Whyte