I find myself thinking about the concept of “Ubuntu”…a Zulu term that might be translated as “I am what I am because of who we all are” or “I am a person through other persons.” It speaks to me about the almost paradoxical nature of welcome… that we both have to enlarge ourselves in opening and at the same time make ourselves small enough to allow true open space for the other. There’s a great degree of humility in authentic ‘welcome’, because as we invite others in, we might also realize that it is only because of them that we can be all that we might be. And, to authentically welcome, we must be willing to be changed.
Our theme packet this month contains a story about Coyote…who is so bothered by others that he attempts to be by himself. But when he’s alone, he finds that his voice…his words, his music, his dance…have all left him, and are only possible when he joins in community.
In these times, when hatred is expressed so openly, we are clearly being called to the practice of welcome…of opening our hearts to the other…of choosing trust over distrust and love over suspicion. I believe that in the practice of making room for the other, as was true for Coyote, we will find that we too are being welcomed home…to that place where our spirits will be filled with more music, more dance, and more life. Perhaps welcoming is the most important work we can do.
I am who I am because of who we all are. And that’s a beautiful thing.