Monday, January 21, 2008

Isolation breeds Death

Yesterday, my friend Aaron taught on accountability as a biblical principle for a healthy walk with Christ. We are doing this series called Disciple at church and this week Aaron chose to preach on accountability. The creative element of the sermon was marvelous, very affective! Aaron got to talking about how isolation separates you and makes you uncomfortable and hinders your walk with Christ and we shut off all the lights in the building except a spot light on him. Then he started talking about community and we cued up another spot on an extra on stage. Then he started talking about how we were created for community and the lights came up again. It was a really good way to illustrated how without seeing other people we become really uncomfortable. We were made for community, without others in our lives we begin to die, mentally, spiritually, and sometimes physically.

My favorite movie is Crash. If you can look past some bad language and one scene of brief nudity, it is a really powerful movie.

Graham (Don Cheadle’s character) starts the movie with this quote:

“It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”

Even though this is a fictional movie with fictional characters, I wonder how much that quote is non-fictional and painfully true.

I was doing my morning routine of checking sports and local and international news and came across a story that really stirred me up. I read this story and was just broken over the fact that this is possible. It is possible for people to die and not be noticed, go missing and not be missed. Police found 3 dead children in an apartment. It took a neighbor to complain about a bad smell from the apartment before they were discovered. The neighbor said he knew that a mother and her 3 little girls lived there. The smell was from the bodies decomposing! A human body decomposing, that sounds like something that should happen in the ground, not in an apartment. They estimate the bodies had been in there for several weeks before being discovered! How is this possible? How is it possible that no one missed them or questioned where they were. How do we miss our neighbors for weeks until we become agitated with the smell of their apartment only to find it was decomposing human beings? This outrages me! This isn’t a new thing though. In 2006 a man road a subway overnight in NY and was discovered to be dead in the morning. I am not sure if you have ever been to NYC, but subways are crowded and there are always more people than you’d like there to be on them. How did this man get missed? You may have seen the movie Collateral, with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise. In the end when Tom Cruise is killed they place him on a subway to ride. Their thought process was that no one would find he was dead for several hours or days. People die and no one notices! Lives are lost without being missed! Is this how humanity should be? This is not how we were created!

The bible says of man that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). God created us to live in communities. The Jewish culture of the bible was community based. The Acts 2 church was community based. People thrive when they are in communities; they thrive when they are intersecting with other humans. It saddens my heart deeply to think that these news stories are real, but they are.

It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to break down this wall we have built of independence. We cannot live alone, we cannot live isolated, we were not made to be this way, we need people. When I was in NYC, one of the most staggering realities I walked away with was people don’t talk, there is no community in this world that we live in currently, or at least it is very small and hidden. NYC is a city of 20 million people. Walking down the streets everyone has on sunglasses and iPods. They are blocking out 2 huge communication variables. We are dying to be touched; we are all dying for community. Will you sit still and watch our world die or will you bring them the living touch of Christ and be a part of His redemptive plan to bring about community that humanity was made for?

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