We have been told from old
Love God, Love neighbor
This is our calling
This is our labor

Our elders have spoken
Time and again
About the need for community
In order to be a friend

Witnesses of truth
Have spoken at length
How in the end
Personal relationships save everything

Community, they say
Holds the cure
To the long loneliness
And the sin of despair

Emerson, Merton, Day
Kierkegaard and Thoreau
Bonhoeffer and Berry
Douglass, Stowe and Van Gogh

Knew the need
Of just one friend
Could ensure
We wouldn’t break but only bend

And bend we could
Though twisted and turned
We could keep rising
Out the ashes, completely burned

Resurrected to new life
In the arms of love
Because in relationships we could be given
What was received from above

We cannot know these truths
Because we are told
Information doesn’t have arms
To warm us when we are cold

Nor does it have hands
To feed us what is good
When we are tired and hungry
Needing bed and food

Have we not learned that Jesus didn’t come
To tell us what to do
Instead, he was born into the world
To help, heal and pursue

The Word cooked our meals
Took us in his arms
Touched our bodies
Healed the harms

He entered in relationships
He became our friend
The Logos took on a body
So we could enter into him

Berry says that healing
Does not happen in loneliness
No matter how much we know
Because Love lives in relationships
Where it can take root and grow

Look and see
Seek and you shall find
We are interdependent
We are intertwined

It is only in real relationships
Where we receive what we need
To grow in love
To nurture the seed

Do you hear what I am saying
It is between the listening and telling
In the soil of compassion
Where we find Truth dwelling

Inviting us-the weary
and heavy laden to rest
Promising a lighter burden
Ready to heal and to bless

What will it take
For our eyes to see
That the answer to our problems
Is I need you and you need me.

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