Connection and Belonging
Emily Rose of Orange, CA, USA
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry….
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:15, 17-18
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” -Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness, Random House, 2017
One of my great privileges is serving on the SPECTACULAR worship team and working with campers who want to share a testimony. Because our worships are camper-designed and camper-led, my role is just to guide them in how they share what they want to share. When more than one camper wants to share a testimony, we usually make space to share with each other first.
Without fail, when one camper shares vulnerably about an encounter with God or about a hardship in their life, more campers do the same. It’s a beautiful chain reaction of campers watching each other be brave enough to stand alone, and in doing so creating room for others to feel a deep sense of connection and belonging.
This year at SPEC we are exploring the theme “Belong,” and I know this sacred chain reaction will show up again. Over and over campers share that at SPEC they feel like they can be fully themselves. Some even wrestle with the fact that they have to return to school where the rules are different and the walls are up. It is my sincere hope that the kind of belonging we create at SPEC will spill out into the rest of the world. May we all seek to belong so fully to ourselves that we can’t help but show up as our most authentic selves. Doing so will create a holy chain reaction of connection and belonging for others.
I belong with all that lives.
Take a deep breath and pay attention to the web of relationships that sustain your life right now. Remember the people who have formed you. Consider the nourishing food and drink that come to you from the planet. Notice all the lives that touched everything that surrounds you. Offer a prayer of gratitude for connection and belonging with God and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.