My husband and I have been living in our town for 14 years. It’s a rural community in central Connecticut of 4, 381 souls, where we are blessed with lakes, wooded areas, and all four of Earth’s seasons. When we first moved here, we commuted – one to the north, the other to the south – for work in the outer world. Now we stay home, rooted even more firmly this past year.
But our town has been redefined, hasn’t it? The borders have moved to include family and friends only available through the computer screen. The life-changing pandemic touches friends on the Connecticut shoreline and a child I will never meet in Peru…in Oakland…in Lesotho…in Assisi. The tragedies of Covid-19 and systemic racism have upended our small-town image of community and asked us to consider the family of humankind.
That’s such a hard leap, such a demanding task. I am only one person, with one set of gifts and limitations. How can I, or any of us, meet the needs of others that increase exponentially?
Recently, I was reminded of another town, Grover’s Corners, where Emily and George Gibbs entered the mystery of life and death. Their story, so lovingly told by Thornton Wilder in the play, “Our Town,” includes this brief conversation between George and his younger sister, Rebecca.
Rebecca: I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the address was like this – it said Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America.
George: What’s funny about that?
Rebecca: But listen, it’s not finished – the United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; The Universe; the Mind of God – that’s what it said on the envelope!
George: What do you know?
Rebecca: And the postman brought it just the same!
You, me, Jane Crofut, all of us live inside the Mind of God. We are, indeed, a family of humankind – the five fingered ones, as a wise woman described recently. We share this planet, its resources and its challenges. We share the great mystery of experiencing a single snowflake, while opening our hearts to a symphony of stars, the promise of life, the gift of Love.
On this day, traditionally set aside to celebrate love, let us deepen our trust in the “Love that passeth all understanding, that you might be filled with the fullness of God,” and join our hearts and minds as one.
with love, Lisa