Whatever else it means to be human, we know beyond doubt that it means to be relational. Aren’t the greatest joys and memories of your life associated with family, friendship, or falling in love? Aren’t your deepest wounds somehow connected to someone also, to a failure of relationship? That you were loved but are no longer, or that you never have been chosen?
One of the deepest of all human longings is the longing to belong, to be a part of things, to be invited in. We want to be part of the fellowship. Where did that come from?
So, too, our greatest sorrows stem from losing the ones we love. Byron lamented,
What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from life’s page,
And be alone on earth, as I am now.
Loneliness might be the hardest cross we bear. Why else would we have come up with solitary confinement as a form of punishment? We are relational to the core. We are made, as it says in Genesis, in the image of God or, better, in the image of the Trinity: “Let us make man in our image” (1:26, emphasis added).
Meister Eckhart had it right when he said that we are born out of the laughter of the Trinity.
From the Heart of the universe come our beating hearts. From this Fellowship spring all of our longings for a friend, a family, a fellowship—for someplace to belong