Monday, January 12, 2009


John Donne wrote that "No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were." The connection, the thing that made all feel the loss of one, was their common ground, their humanity.

Beyond that mutual connection of humanity, though, is another even greater connection, however slim we might think it is. Anne Sexton describes it in her poem, "Small Wire":

My faith

is a great weight

hung on a small wire,

as doth the spider

hang her baby on a thin web,

as doth the vine,

twiggy and wooden,

hold up grapes

like eyeballs,

as many angels

dance on the head of a pin.

God does not need too much wire to keep Him there,

just a thin vein,

with blood pushing back and forth in it,

and some love.

As it has been said:

Love and a cough cannot be concealed.

Even a small cough.

Even a small love.

So if you have only a thin wire,

god does not mind.

He will enter your hands

as easily as ten cents used to bring forth a Coke.

Throughout our lifetime, we have opportunities to explore that connection, that small wire. Sometimes the choice is ours. We may read and study, go to church, pray. But perhaps more often, it is those around us who bring God to our mind through their words and actions. The more often we are reminded about the God in our lives, the more likely it is that He will become the God of our lives.

We are going to forget a good deal of what we have learned---the math, the history, the chemical formulas we learned in school, the address and phone number of the first house we lived in, the name of the co-worker we passed in the hall but never spoke to, our next-door-neighbors, if we ever knew them in the first place. Most likely, this forgetting will do us little or no harm because the information was not vital to our life. It isn't likely, however, that we will forget the name of our best friend, our mother, father or children. because of our connection to them.

If we do not maintain our connection with God, if we forget that there is a God, something profound in us will be lost. We need to be reminded daily of God's place in our lives in order to insure against eternal oblivion, and we must not leave it up to chance. Peter agrees: "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory . . ." (2 Peter 1: 12-13 NIV) and thus maintain our connections.

Photos from Wikipedia

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