I am interested in connecting to that part of me deep inside that knows, that loves. I don’t call myself a religious person, but I love the medieval root of the word religion “to re-connect” re + ligare. If that is what religion is—reconnecting to that higher thing–then I’m religious.
I watched the week unfold as this 78-year-old pontiff with one lung and sciatica speak to Congress, the President, the UN, the prison inmates, the victims of abuse, the handicapped, the elementary school, the site of 9-11, and I was moved and humbled.
He seems to have boundless energy and be able to tap into people’s hearts. He has a pulse on the conflict Americans have between our hunger to connect but our insular attitudes.
I could see his point as a member of any spiritual group as I pulled up to Starbucks that afternoon. Many SUVs were in the parking lot running their motors, while those inside sipped their coffees safely in their vehicles by themselves.
Many of us have become insular, so protective of our lives that we no longer reach out to others. I understand. I’m one of the islands too. I keep my distance from strangers.
But I believe it’s time to crawl out of my den. And reconnect.
I decided to experiment.
As I took a seat on the leather chair to write this post, a lady sat down across from me and began coughing. I felt my nerves prick and my attitude sink. Then I thought of the Pope and his message to reconnect to each other, and I just shifted a hairbreadth into loving her. And sure enough. She changed. The cough didn’t bother me, I knew I wouldn’t get sick, and she was just a neighbor across the aisle. We spoke about the weather, the possible hurricane, and I felt my heart melt just a little.
It seemed that more people came into Starbucks then.
From what I saw as the Pope waved his hand and heart through the streets of Philly, Manhattan and in the hallowed political halls of D.C., we are tired of isolated polarity and infighting.
Make a connection today. With a person, a pet or other. See how it goes. And let me know.