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This was written by a fellow traveler at Grace. We are hoping to use this space more often for the collective work of the folks who happen to gather on Sunday nights at Grace. Enjoy. This is a beautiful letter.
To the World:
For my 30th birthday my wife reached out to as many people as she could asking if they would send me a birthday card. On my birthday I received 45. I am overjoyed that people responded in such a profound way. I feel loved, understood, and I am thankful that my hypothesis that people do not care about each other has been challenged. For those of you who know me, and receive calls and messages from me on random days, please know that it is because I love you. That said, my mission is not just to show people that I love them, it is to encourage you to reach out to people you care for more often. When you receive a message or call, respond and show people you understand that their time is valuable. We have stripped one another of our right to be loved-I challenge you to infuse that right back into your community.
We must develop our capacity to love. The mind works like a hard drive on a computer. When you first start using your device you have plenty of space on your hard drive, then suddenly you realize you have started using your device so much that you need more space. I believe we should work that way in developing our hearts, and increase the frequency in showing how much we care about each other. I do not expect people to read this and suddenly go on a messaging spree. Reaching out to someone is not the frivolous behavior that social media makes it seem to be, at times. Yes, we all know how handsome and beautiful you are from the selfie you took from the perfect angle, but call someone and tell them about what was happening when you took that photo. Was that smile real or did it just make you look better? I see you care about YOURSELF, but do you really care about the people looking at the photo? How is it that we live in a world in which we can connect with anyone at any moment, but we have not heard from anyone? We have 4,000 followers and 4 actual friends. I challenge you to change that.
When I was in High School I wrote an article for the school newspaper titled “people don’t care about each other.” I wrote it after a tragic event happened to someone I am close to, and there was a sudden outpour of support for a person who could use some support EVERY DAY! Unfortunately, on a daily basis people are hurt because they do not feel loved. The purpose of this message is to encourage people to show that they care about each other, more often. Reaching out to others should be a habit.
Friends, be prepared to get one of those random text messages from Torrey that read “oh you forgot about me?” or “Happy Birthday!” Mentors, look out for the calls from your former student or the player that you coached as a 12-year-old; I have not forgotten about you. Family, look out for the call from your Son, Brother, Grandson or Nephew. To my wife Andrea, I understand now more than ever how blessed I am to be loved by you. I am married to someone who understands me and that is not a right: being married to you is a blessing. Being loved by you allows me to maintain the bandwidth to love you back and to love so many people. In all, I love you too, WORLD!!
Rev. Abigail A Henrich (ehm!) is an ordained minister who earned her stripes at Princeton Theological Seminary and Colgate University. That said, Abby is really a mother-pastor-spouse who lives in a kinetic state of chaos as she moves from her many vocations: folding laundry, preaching, returning phone calls, sorting lunch boxes, answering e-mails, and occasionally thinking deep thoughts in the shower. Unabashedly she is a progressive Christian who believes some shaking up has got to happen in the church.