I Choose You, I Am Here

I have never been particularly attached to the idea of family. Do you know The Swiss Family Robinson? It's the story of how a family worked together and survived. It never reached beyond a story for me. It never occurred to me that some people actually felt this way towards their blood line; that the lineage was sacred. To me it always seemed that blood could be spilled. I have always felt that when people identify "family" as something important and universal, what they are truly addressing is unconditional love.

This is not to say that I hate the idea of family, but I've always been more enchanted by the idea of chosen family. The thought that we are each making a choice to be here in this family, in this community, is powerful. We have actively chosen to come and be here. I’m not stuck with you because you’re my cousin and I’m not allowed to be rude. I could leave if I wanted to, but I don’t because of the way that we have each nurtured this community. I choose to be stuck with you, for better or for worse.

And we have continuously made this choice over and over again. Every time we attend worship, every time we donate our time and energy, every time we clasp hands in meditation is a promise: “I am here for you.” The DNA of this community may be metaphorical, but it exists within me. The words covenant and right relation are second nature, placed on my tongue almost since birth, but they are words that I have chosen to bring into my life. My heart beats with the blood of this church, pounding out “I choose you, I am here.” This is a safe space, a place of learning, a place of compassion, a space created by the very idea of love. We chose to build a sanctuary because we chose to be together. There is no use for a church of people who hate each other, or a church of ghosts.

We make the choice to stay stuck together even when we don’t even want to be in the same room. But we always come back to the table, because we choose to be together. Through thick and thin, we have chosen love. And in hard times, struggling times, times that we face everyday, we come together even closer. We make the choice to listen to each other, we make the choice to pick each other up, and we make the choice to love each other.

We have built this community with our commitment to that love.

We all have many different reasons for being here, but I like to think that we all have one common reason for being here: Love. Over everything else, we are here because we are the people who choose love. We do not have a bloodline, but we have a deep unconditional love that runs through us all. We choose that love. We choose each other. Our hearts echo, “I choose you, I am here, I am here, I am here.”