Saturday, August 1, 2009
The family of God
I woke up to sunlight in my own bed this morning and the first thing I did was give God a big "thank you." As I made my way out to the street I looked at my home in a new way. I wore a smile as I greeted people at Friendly's restaurant and on my way into the Post Office. I said hello to the people I met on the street. I wore an ear to ear grin and was so happy to be home.
Each time I come home from a mission trip I gain new insights into life. This time we went to a small town in America. Northfork, West Virginia isn't much different than the town I grew up in. The people all know each other. They support each other's businesses and attended the same schools. As I looked at Norwich I saw the city as that same type of place.
Over the twenty five years I have lived in Norwich the city has changed. With the additions of the Casinos we have become a multi cultural city with many neighborhoods, many languages and many different beliefs. Everywhere you turn people are talking about our differences.
When I got up this morning I realized that it didn't matter where we've come from as much as what we are doing today. We are all from Norwich and we are all looking for the good life. This is our town and our time. I began to see people as brothers and sisters today. Before I looked at them as strangers.
When we were in Northfork our group reached out to Don, the man we were working with, as a brother in Christ. We didn't know him. Yet we had that one thing in common. The truth is that here in Norwich we are all children of God. We need to remember that we are all part of God's family. Someone once said that "A stranger is just someone in God's family that we haven't met yet."
If we were to look at everyone we met as our brother or sister, this would be a better world. There would be no poverty, no crime, no war. That is God's vision fro his creation. No wonder Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as your self. To punctuate his point he told the story of the Good Samaritan emphasizing that even the most despised person was a child of God capable of following his commandments.
I am going to keep smiling and greeting the folks I see on the streets of our city. Won't you join me. Maybe we can start a revolution?