simply fellow human beings

Yesterday morning we waved goodbye to Dan and Hannah and their three-year-old son Titus, who delighted me by repreatedly calling Heather "your mom" or "the mom." They were good hosts to us. (And I even got a chance to watch a little Buffy!)

Now we're with Ryan, Ashley, Ian and Jamie, friends we met and stayed with last year, and who were a godsend when things fell through at the Catholic Worker retreat place near here. It's good to see them again. We plan to spend the long weekend here before heading off to walk again.

During this time I'm trying to put together a letter to send back to Plow Creek (and perhaps others) as a summary of the first part of our walk. I'll probably talk about some of the experiences and thoughts I've had about social rejection, about being "nobodies." Picking up that theme again in my prayer time this morning, it struck me that the experience of social rejection not only helps us to avoid the idolatry of society, but may also help us love others. Rather than turning us against those around us, it may free us to serve them better. As it did with Jesus. Because idolizing our human society leads to a fear of those around us, fear of popular opinion, fear of rejection. And I think it also leads to a (perhaps unconscious) feeling of bitterness towards others, since we are not made to serve and worship human beings and when we do so it diminishes and oppresses us. If social rejection helps us to shift our dependence to God alone, it will also help us treat people as they were meant to be treated: simply as fellow human beings, loved by God.