the ten foot rule starts at home...

I was struck today by the congregation's receptiveness to Jean Vanier's "Ten Foot Rule." We playfully considered what it might mean for us personally and as a congregation Rather than fret over the suffering we cannot change, what would it be like if we gave our love and creativity to those in need who are 10 feet away? This started a creative jag for some - and there's likely to be some new liturgical art in the Sanctuary by next Sunday's annual meeting!

Think about it: in a circle with you in the center, you can fit about 75 people into your sphere
of influence, love and compassion. You can touch them. And love them. And know them. And listen to them, too. One of the constant comments that I heard two weeks ago at the Four Freedoms March and Rally, and again yesterday at our Sister Rally in Support of the Women's March on Washington, DC, was this: I didn't know so many people felt the same way I do. I am SO hopeful and encouraged! Social media has its place, don't get me wrong, but as I spontaneously confessed in this morning's message: I need REAL hugs in my life. I like the virtual ones, but I am flesh and blood and need to know I am loved. Jean Vanier put it like this in a conversation with Krista Tippett. They were talking about how technology makes the world smaller and maybe more compassionate when he said:

Or (technology can) take us away from (compassion.) As I had said, you see, I mean, as you look at that Iraqi child and you were wounded and wanted to do something, yet, you were confronted by your incapacity because the child was not in front of you. If that child was in front of you, you could have taken the child in your arms. So we're going into a world where the imagination, the virtual, the long distance, see things far away that appear as close. But you can't touch them. They're close to the imagination, but they're not close to the body. So let's come back to the reality of the small. There, we can …We can touch them, we can be with them. The difficulty with L'Arche, which is also a beauty — I say it's our difficulty, it's our beauty, is that it's small and it's just very little...

This rings so true to me.


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