Two words sum up a great truth I have for you today.
There is no requirement for belonging that you have not fulfilled. There is no application you neglected to fill out.
You belong…and nothing can change that, nothing can bar your entry into this belonging, nothing can remove you from the fabric of which we are all knitted. Even after death, every cell, every atom, every ounce of Spirit that dwelt in you will belong still…carried on the wind, nourishing the grass, whispering in the hallway and the echo of the church sanctuary. The memory of you is planted as seeds in the minds and the hearts of everyone who knew you.
Ah but knowing this…brings with it a great responsibility, you see.
What begins as a comfort, knowing that you belong, that you are not alone becomes something other than comfort. There is something very big at stake here, friend. When we engage and when we put ourselves out there in the world…when we open ourselves up to injury, to rejection, to humiliation…belonging becomes downright terrifying. I know, I really do understand this.
As much as we all try to be the loving and welcoming people we hope to be we all fail, we will fail you at one time or another. Your choice, in the face of this failure, is what you choose to sow…because you belong and nothing can change this. Your response, your words, your actions…these are all things you will sow in the face of success and in the face of failure, in the face of being failed, being hurt. This is what we leave behind. This is what remains of us in those we leave behind.
You belong…and what you say and do matters because of this, it matters a great deal.
Every cry for help, every shout in anger, every bit of despair….
Every tear shed in grief, every deep embrace, every trembling fear…
Every moment of joy, every expression of love, every bit of forgiveness…
This is the sum of us, after all.
This is what we leave behind…planted in the minds and the hearts of those we touch in our lives..because we belong, all of us, belong to one another.
And so today I am here to remind you of this great responsibility, this great honor, this great comfort…
Let’s live today as if we know this with everything we are…alright?