I figured we’d get to know each other better, that she’d introduce me to her friends and tell me all about her school, and we did all of that. I learned that her daddy is a veteran, which means he used to be in the military, that her family likes to joke together, that she had a roller skating party for her birthday this year, and that when she grows up she might be a minister at a church or a teacher at a school or who knows what because she’s a little too young to have all that figured out. (I agreed. Wise girl.) I learned that at her school, everybody LOVES Mr. Willie and Mr. Mike because they’re nice and funny and they do EVERYTHING around the school, cleaning up and fixing wise. And I learned that the second graders were working on their play before lunch and one girl threw up and another child thought he might faint because it was kind of hot in there.
I was delighted to learn all those things! Then, apparently, we were getting down to business.
“I’ve been thinking and I have a question,” she said, and munched on a veggie straw.
“Ask away,” I said.
“If Adam and Eve were the first people, does that mean we’re all related?”
“That’s an interesting thing to think about,” I said. “I wonder what you think about that.”
“I think we must be. I guess Adam and Eve would be my great great great great- well I guess I’d have to say great for hours before I could get to grandparents!”
We laughed and talked about how we’re all one big family on this earth, and then we moved on to something else.
But I’ve been thinking about my friend’s question and our Big Earth Family all afternoon.
Whether you believe Adam and Eve were two actual people or that God gave them to us in this beautiful poem, challenging us to think about God’s love for us, our separateness from and union with God, and our connection to each other and to creation, it’s a big thing to ponder. One that comes with some simple and powerful truths.
If we’re really one big family, we need to know what is going on with each other.
If we’re really one big family, we need to listen to each other and understand how our actions affect one another.
If we’re really one big family, our governments may need borders, but our caring can’t stop at the lines we draw.
That’s big stuff.
Today, before I left work (church) I snapped a photo of one of my favorite things outside our sanctuary right now.
Well, look at that. My instagram buddy, @TravelingBabyJesus jumped in the middle where the candle should go. What a rascal. But I guess it makes sense. He is the light of the world.
This is the candle holder we set out in the narthex when we’re hosts as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Homeless families stay in our church building for one or two weeks at a time while the parents get back on their feet. As I think of our Big Earth Family, I see us holding onto each other so that we’re all standing up, homeless and those with homes, people near and people far. And Jesus lights our way, in the middle of it all!
So whenever I hear people clinging to their sides, yelling- not listening – and shrugging shoulders when asked to consider others, I’m going to try to focus on my friend’s big question and the image of that candle holder, the Big Earth Family playing Ring Around the Rosie, with Jesus in the middle. May the Light of the World be our guide!
PS. My young friend’s mother gave me permission to share this with you, in case you’re wondering. Respecting privacy is important to me. 🙂