I opened the front door to let in the man who would walk through our newly-finished basement to assess the work and to make sure that it was up to code. The inspection process would take under an hour, we were told. Our contractor was a good one, and he didn’t cut corners. I wasn’t worried.
The inspector was a friendly guy, and we made small talk as we moved through the large room. I learned that he lived thirty minutes away, but was originally from another part of the state.
Oh yeah? Me too. What town? I asked.
He gave the name of the city I always give when people ask me the same question. Me too! I said, smiling. Though not really. My hometown is smaller, but no one has heard of it, so I usually don’t bother mentioning it.
Me too, he repeated. He offered the name of his hometown.
My eyes widened. It was the same small town I knew, the one where I grew up.
What is your name? I asked.
He told me, and I smiled again. His last name was familiar, belonging to two school pals from my younger years.
Do you know them? I asked, mentioning the names.
Sure, he said. They are my sister and nephew.
We laughed as I explained that his sister and I were friends when we were kids, and we talked about our other mutual connections for a few minutes. He told me what his sister was doing now, and called her to say hi and to share the coincidence. He handed the phone to me and we said hello and asked how are you and laughed about this chance meeting. Small world, we inevitably agreed.
The older we get, the more people we know. I’ve run into people from my past in airports and on vacation, and the longer we live in our current home, the more connected to others we become. It’s no longer surprising to see familiar faces at the grocery store and gas station. We are rooted here. It’s a comfortable feeling.
I love connections. This affinity was passed to my daughter, whose teacher once remarked on all the connections she makes between topics at school. We come from a long line of people who love to share connections.
They’re comforting, these connections. They remind us that we are not alone in this world, that there are others who relate. Others who know what we know, believe what we believe, feel what we feel, and who understand what we’re all about. Finding a person who gets me is all I ever wanted in life. It’s a nod to my existence, a chin up that acknowledges that I’m really here.
After a lifetime of looking for connections, I’ve learned that a deeper connection with God is much more satisfying than any connection I can make with another person. The Holy Spirit connects me to God as I navigate this life down the road he laid out for me, and I dwell in his presence as my life moves forward. This connection has shown me that God is always consistent. He knows me. He gets me. His love never fails despite my own failings.
I am here. I exist. And I am his, forever connected.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.