Recently we were given a creative writing assignment in our Social Ethics module as part of our work with Espace Solidaire Paquis, a missional community center in a transitioning neighborhood of Geneva. Each of us was asked to submit something – an essay, a short story, a favorite recipe, just something to share with the community.
I chose to write a poem, something I hadn’t done in a long time. At first it was just about my experience at ESP, but I came to realize I was acknowledging something much deeper. These words were also true about my experience here at the Ecumenical Institute, and most importantly they were true about the kind of life I believe Christ desires for all of us, the kind of kingdom God is calling us partner in building.
The truth is, the hidden unity I write about can be found in every city and in every country across the world. But it’s still hidden – it’s a lamp under a bushel. Part of our ecumenical challenge, and especially the challenge of churches and Christian leaders, is to help this unity spring up from the ground for everyone to see! My prayer over the last weeks has been for God to show me how I, as a believer and a pastor, can equip those I am in ministry with to help that light shine – a light that shows us the way out of the darkness and leads us on the path of peace.
There is a unity here that no one else sees
That’s so unlike the world outside
Where language, religion, and gender don’t matter
Our differences we don’t try to hide.
We’re united by our common need –
To live, to learn, to be loved;
And the things that separate us
Aren’t problems to be solved.
They’re riches we bring to the table
As we share our stories and laugh
We long to look forward to the future
Not be defined by our past.
This is a space of solidarity
Where no one is ever alone
Where we walk with one another
On this earth, our common home.
If only others could see what I saw,
This unity profound
We’d believe that it is possible
To find a common ground.
This unity that’s hidden,
Let live it for the world to see!
Then I’ll know that I belong to you
And you belong to me.