In his book God Has a Dream, Archbishop Desmond Tutu makes references to the African word Ubuntu.  The idea is this:  “A person is a person through other persons… The solitary, isolated human being is really a contradiction in terms… I need you in order to be me as you need me in order to be you. We are caught up in a delicate network of interconnectedness. We are made different so that we may know our need of one another.” [1]

Imagine that!  For many people this is a daunting concept, especially in a culture where we place such high regard on our self-sufficiency and independence; being able to stand on our own two feet, and having things our way regardless of what others think.

Ubuntu speaks to the essence of our shared humanity and reminds us that in God’s family, there are no outsiders.  “All are insiders.  Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Jew and Arab, Palestinian and Israeli, Roman Catholic and Protestant, Serb and Albanian, Hutu and Tusi, Muslim and Christian, Buddhist and Hindu, Pakistani and Indian – all belong.” [2]

It is through our engagement with others – those we know well and the stranger on the street; those who cheer us on as well as those who try our very last nerve – that we learn to be fully human; God’s very own.
Imagine how liberating it would be if we were able to muster the courage to say out loud (and truly mean it) on a fairly regular basis:  “I need you.  I am who I am because of you;” to sit with the tension of that, the give and take, ups and downs, the taking on and the letting go of everything if necessary so that we might fully find ourselves and become who God intended us to be.  May God give us strength.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy

[1] Desmond Tutu, God Has A Dream A Vision of Hope for Our Time (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 25.
[2] Ibid., 20