To love and be loved

Recently, I have had conversations with people in our community—both St. Tim’s and our larger community—that have me thinking about life. Recently, I shared a cup of coffee with someone who is six months sober after having confronted their addiction. We listened, cried some, laughed, and celebrated the gift of seeking health and wholeness. Just a day ago, I sat down and listened to a school counselor share their thoughts about the recent deaths by suicide that have happened in our local community. We shared feelings of confusion, sorrow, and determination to offer love and care. This week, a perfect stranger talked with me about the death of their mother, and their worry for their father, who must now live life without his partner for the first time in 73 years of marriage. We talked about the gift of life, the joy of love, the hard work of giving ourselves to one another in trust, and the assuredness of faith—God’s faithfulness to us. These conversations come to my mind, after a Sunday of building up our community here at St. Tim’s, precisely because I am aware—as I am sure you are—of our deep hunger for belonging, community, meaning, and hope. I don’t know about you, but if you are like me, you have experienced questions of self-worth, self-doubt, even shame; you have likely wondered: Who am I? What is this life of mine? In this world, it can be easy to lose track of a clear sense of who we are. We live in such a fast-paced, exhausted, confusing and connected, yet disconnected world that knowing who we are has become an amazingly hard task. What is clear to me is that who we are is rooted not in ourselves, but, shockingly, outside ourselves. Who we are is defined by the relationships we value and give ourselves to, and quite simply, in who God is. In part, this is what belonging and community teach us—that our lives are not our own and that the very meaning, purpose, and hope of life is found in relationship with God and one another. For you and I were created for this; to love and be loved. This is the giftedness of life. We are at our best when we are together with God and one another.