A few prominent images presented themselves this past week:
…A prominent psychologist on a popular podcast discussing neighbouring and being in close proximity. Gives advice on it, and then shares how she walked away from dinner with a friend, and no longer called her a friend, because they disagreed on politics.
…The English prince and princess who decided to remove themselves from royalty, then decided to make a large move across North America when the borders are closed.
…Canada offering aid to China when the outbreak was devastating for them, and having the offer reciprocated in our time of need.
…A former fellow church member texting out of the blue to remind me that he is praying for me.
The Bible frequently refers to being at peace with one another, in the context of the church and in the society around the church. To the best of our ability. As with all moments of peace and discord, it can be difficult to hold up a straight board from one end. Two other words that seem to be interchangeable with peace, but hold a difference essence, are harmony and unity.
Finding harmony in a place can be more difficult than it sounds. How do I play a note that is different from another, but makes the song sound better?
We all look for similarity but hope for diversity. Harmony often sounds good on paper, but allowing those other notes in our song can feel like a threat. The work of the people, especially in distress, is to help others know they belong with us. That means working with differences, understanding ways to lift the broken, and showing camaraderie in commonness. Being neighbourly means striving for harmony.
Find harmony from a distance. As you notice items of difference this week, choose to create a space of commonality. Write the song.