Manson's Memo - degrees of separation
Last week we received an e-mail from the Regional Office asking for prayer for one of the members of the Youth Leadership team. She and her father were on vacation in Lebanon when the fighting started and they were waiting to be evacuated.
I was reminded of the idea of six degrees of separation that is said to exist between any two people in the world. That concept says that any two people can be connected by no more than six links – or we know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody knows somebody who knows somebody who knows whoever that target person is. In some ways this makes the world seem much smaller, if it only takes 6 links to reach any of the five billion people (or is it six now?) in the world.
But more and more, I find that it rarely takes six links to connect us to those in need.
I brought the e-mail to the office to share with Trevor Johnson, since he might know her through regional youth events, and he does. So since we know Trevor and he knows someone in the mess in Lebanon, there are only two degrees of separation between us and that trouble spot. It is not a world away; we know somebody who knows somebody. (Except Trevor, he just knows somebody.)
How many connections do we need to find someone who needs our help? We are connected to many through the work of the church at congregational, regional and general levels, but there are many needs around us everyday. We don’t need to overcome six degrees of separation to connect to someone in need. We just need to overcome the first degree – the walls we build around ourselves.