Connected for Life, 6-13-16

Do you ever find yourself pulling away from others, especially if you've experienced a crisis, loss, or deep disappointment? At times like these, it's even more important to remember that we need other people and we cannot thrive as human beings in isolation.

A man lost his wife to cancer and found himself wanting to be alone. In time he dropped out of his community and curtailed all of the activities he and his wife had shared for many years. He increasingly kept to himself. He quit socializing at work and returned straight home to an empty house. He turned down invitations from friends and co-workers. He spent his leisure time either watching television or working in his shop in the basement.

His contact with people dwindled until his friends became concerned that he might live out his life as a recluse. One friend decided to drop by and invite the man to dinner. The man accepted. After dinner, the two old friends sat in comfortable chairs by a warm fireplace. The friend extended the invitation and encouraged the man to share his pain with others. The man responded that he figured that he was better off not being around other people, who seemed to remind him of all he had lost. And, besides, it was just to difficult to get out anymore.

They sat in silence for awhile, watching the wood burn in the fireplace. Then the friend did a strange thing. He took the tongs from the rack, reached into the fire, and pulled out a flaming ember. He laid it down by ITSELF on the hearth. He still said nothing. Both men watched the red - hot ember slowly into a CRUSTY, BLACK LUMP. After some moments, the man turned to his friend and said " Thank you, I get the message, I do not want to turn into a crusty black lump. I'll be over for dinner again tomorrow."

We cannot survive in a healthy way by ourselves, in isolation from others.

The leaf needs the branch. The branch needs the trunk. The trunk needs the roots. And the roots need the rest of the tree. Just like the tree, we need connection to other people and beings. And it is in that connection that we find LIFE.

by Steve Goodier