Many of our bloggers spent time this week reflecting on the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and pondering the potential for humankind to learn anything at all from this senseless tragedy. There were posts about guns and gun control, about mental illness and unbridled evil, about seeing and stereotyping, on connection and isolation. For today’s Festival, take a look at these blog posts that talk about the large and small things that help us connect with one another or that pull us apart.
Blogging at Chaplainhood, Joy Freeman offers a poetic lament about our loss of connectedness to one another. “When did it become ok to isolate ourselves so completely that we forget we all are connected?”
Blogging at A Church for Starving Artists, Jan Edmiston writes about an international meeting she attended and her realization that she was one of the few participants who spoke only English. Describing it as “an issue of humility and grace,” she reflects on the messages sent by an expectation that everyone else will meet us where we are. “It feels gross to need to ask someone in her own country if she speaks English so that I can buy dinner.”
Deb Vaughn posts in her blog An Unfinished Symphony about the ways that Spell Check (and its evil cousin AutoCorrect) can be more of a hindrance to communication and connection than a help. “That thing in her nose is a ‘nasal cannula’ not a ‘nasal cannoli.'”
We often think of food as a way to connect people, especially meals shared after worship services. But any good thing can be misused and turned into an occasion for hurt. Becky Ramsey, in her self-named blog, shares an occasion that troubled her. “She was giving Christianity a bad name, that’s what she was doing: having her own little Line Up and Be Shamed festival.”
Moving to a new place necessarily breaks some connections and forges new ones. In her blog, Quietly Rolling Thunder, Kathy Randall shares a poignant reflection of one such move in her life. “I refused to say that the blessing of God’s peace was not present in that place, even if I hadn’t encountered peace while I was there.”
Beth Richardson, whose blog is All the Wonders, thinks about the connections that are created by our pets, and what it means to bless those animals. “Bless this creature and the human one who shares its life.”
Arianne Lehn, in her blog Ash and Starlight, considers her contribution to an annual devotional and the connections that are made between widely scattered family who read a common devotional each day and share their reactions with one another. “We all try to read this same devotional and send each other periodic texts with things that struck us or questions we have.”
In Everyday Thinking, Maria Tafoya laments how jargon prevents genuine communication and pleads for plain language and clear explanations. “If they do not understand me, what’s the point of talking?”
As you visit these member blogs, please leave a comment to let the writer know you were there and to share your reaction to her post.
Barbara Bruneau is a retired Lutheran pastor, living in southeastern Minnesota and currently serving in interim ministry. She is a knitter, a weaver, and a very occasional blogger at An Explosion of Texture and Color.
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