Sharing the Boat

lifeboat-5-1014747-mFor about a dozen years I taught private childbirth classes.  You might recognize the names of some of my clients (not telling!) and others were just scrapping by.  Regardless of their social strata, cultural background, tax bracket, etc., each family had the very same # 1 goal: A healthy baby.  I loved the universality of this desired outcome and felt privileged to connect with so many families over the years.

I thought of that Wednesday as I smudged ashes on the foreheads of so many in my role as hospital chaplain. I walked all over the large institution with my little ash-pot offering a brief ritual of reminder and renewal.  Visitors in the lobby, housecleaning staff,  nurses, receptionists, doctors, showed up at one of our services or responded to my inquiry during rounds to the units.  A common YES to a recognition of missing the mark, a chance to begin again, an expectancy of hope.

The folks I will see today at Trader Joe’s or Target or the gym will all likely be wanting about the same things too even without being so obvious about it.  Love, significance, safety, to name a few. Thomas Jefferson called it, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Don’t you want all those things?  I sure do.

I hope I can hold on to this notion a bit, our longings are all so similar.  Help me embrace our global commonality instead of our perceived contrasts.

“We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” GK Chesterton.

Hope for the Best,



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