“Thank-you”

Mar 27, 2012

I spent the past weekend at an exciting conference in Anaheim, CA called the LA Religious Education Congress. Over 35,000 Christians, mostly Catholic, gathered to hear speakers, browse the book exhibits, network with new and old friends, and worship together. As a small city of people we waited in long lines to use the restrooms, to ascend the escalators for our workshop locations, and to find a seat in worship.

With so many people in less than a city-sized space we were bound to bump into each other or to inadvertently touch each other. The number of embarrassed and frustrated  “Excuse me“s and “I’m sorry“s I heard and said was legion. I remembered too late what I learned in Interplay—a practice which teaches community-building and body-wisdom through play. In Interplay when we bump into each other we say, “Thank-you!”  Not only does this ironic response dispel the embarrassment but it reminds us that we are “one bread, one body.” (1Corinthians 10:17) When my safely-guarded space intersects with someone else’s, I can decide how to respond. I can be miffed or I can apologize or I can be grateful that two grains from the cosmic loaf have shared a moment of embodied communion.

So I would like to reframe my apologies for the past weekend’s cutaneous collisions and just say “Thank you.”

Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness – Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. 1Corinthians 10:17–The Message