No Bridge, But a Border Instead

No Bridge, But a Border Instead

Rev. Dr. Ed Goode, Fort Thomas Christ Church UCC

On the same trip to Canada, I had a “first” experience.  For the first time, I not only drove across a national border, but I also drove literally along the border.  This road is called Rue Canusa and it is literally the border between the United States and Canada.  The houses on the left side are in Vermont.  The ones on the right are in Quebec.  US flags on the left.  Canadian flags on the right. 

With all that we hear about our southern border, this was a really weird experience to drive this very different border.  Unlike other places in Canada (such as where my family and I crossed earlier in the trip), there are no bridges here, just this road.  It reminded me of the truth that we are far more alike than we are different regardless of the border we might be talking about.   The houses looked similar, the cars looked similar, the people looked similar, even if different languages were spoken. 

A purple flower reminded me of this actually today, a few days after we returned from the trip.  I was walking Scout this morning at a park in Cincinnati when I saw this purple flower. 

This tiny little bloom looked nearly exactly like one I saw just about a week ago in Quebec. 

Two very different places but the same type of flower.  We are more alike than we are different.  One of the things we all share is the image of God that is indelibly a part of us.  For a long time, I understood the idea of us as bearing the image of God as if I bore the whole of the image of God as does each person.  But in her book, This Here Flesh, Cole Arthur Riley raises another way to think about it…

“Some theologies say it is not an individual but a collective people who bear the image of God. I quite like this, because it means we need a diversity of people to reflect God more fully. Anything less and the image becomes pixelated and grainy, still beautiful but lacking clarity. If God really is three parts in one like they say, it means that God’s wholeness is in a multitude.”  This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley

I love this understanding of the image of God – that there is a much fuller image of God seen when all the walls, borders, divides, etc., are broken down and we are able to see how much more alike we are than we are different. 

Grace, Peace, Love, and Joy,

Edward Goode