Relationships: Ubuntu & the Red Thread

Katie (middle) enjoys her YAGM friends during her Close of Service Retreat (July 2013)

Katie (middle) enjoys her YAGM friends during her Close of Service Retreat (July 2013)

Katie served in South Africa in 2012-2013. She writes about her life since returning to the U.S.:

Since I have returned from South Africa, I have slowly getting back into prayer meditation and Bible study to feed my soul. I found an online website run by Jesuit monks in Ireland called Sacred Space. I have started doing a daily prayer that the website offers to help out with my prayer meditation and to process and unpack my life in SA. As I was doing my prayer today, this was part of my prayer:

” I exist in a web of relationships – links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.”

I can honestly tell you that this sums up my life not only in SA but here in the U.S. as well. I think of ubuntu which means I am who I am because of who we are and I also think of the red thread which comes from China which reminds us that we all connected in relationships.

I believe there are days and maybe not only days but a lot of life we forget that we all connected to each other not just to our family or friends but to people in our nation and throughout the world. If we took the time to meditate and realize how we are all connected to each other maybe then we could realize the suffering that happens to our brothers and sisters in the world also affects us.

The prayer that I also posted reminds me that relationship on not perfect. In fact it reminds me that it always has been broken and twisted and even though it is twisted and broken it still has beauty. This web of relationships also reminds me that God is at the center of this web.

Would it be too much to ask for us to actually think about how we are all connected to each other? If we took the time to see how we all connected to one another would we view the world differently than we do now? Would we realize that the suffering that happens to our brothers and sisters throughout the world also affects us? What about how we are connected to nature and the earth?

I also know that I am not perfect with this either and I know this will be a work in progress for me but as I remember how UBUNTU has affected me and how intentional community and relationships have been a part of my life before and after SA, I have come to appreciate how we are all connected. Not only to each other but to nature and God.

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