The last few days have been a roller coaster of sadness and joy, good-bye and hello, as our family has celebrated the life and started mourning the death of a wonderful man. My great uncle moved to his heavenly home and many people had come to support his family during the visitation and funeral. This led to a conversation on how we are all tied together, with threads and strings that are woven into complex patterns throughout our lives.
I started pondering that thought on the drive back home. What would this web of connectivity look like if I could sense it in a tangible way? Yarns that are thick and worn to soft fuzzy textures held next to fine threads, rope-like strands in line with flossy embroidery thread; family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, peers and neighbors are all linked together in these many cords. Stretched over miles of distance and through years of life, the strings are wrapped through my fingers and looped into other peoples’ hands.
Strings may have grown dusty since we have moved them last, but the connection can still be there. Shake off the business of the moment and refresh the bond. We can stretch strings to the breaking point, leaving them thin and worn, and yet with careful interlacing bonds can be rebuilt. Woven into colorful patterns, these plait the threads together to make relational tapestries that spread out and connect one person with another. New fibers are added throughout life, the cashier at the grocery store that always checks me out in the mornings I go to get bananas and kiwis, or the new people I meet at Bible study. Adding new connections only increases the depth and complexity of threads.
Seeing these strings merged into a far-reaching weaving at the death of a loved one was a beautiful reminder of the support and connection we share and yet often forget to communicate or, at times, even notice. I want to encourage you, as I was encouraged, to enjoy and build the strings in your life. Seek out these connections and nurture them. It takes time, energy, strength. It is intentional and can certainly lead to tangles. Tie a thread around your connectivity as a reminder that the benefits of our strings are beautifully immeasurable.