“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself  […]

You are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

from No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu (1999)

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So the Lord God put the human into a deep and heavy sleep, and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh over it. With the rib taken from the human, the Lord God fashioned a woman and brought her to the human being. The human said,

“This one finally is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She will be called a woman because from a man she was taken.”

This is the reason that a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:21-24

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Ubuntu is an African word that means “I am because we are.” We are a part of each other because we are all human beings made in the image of God regardless of our gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, or anything that could seem to be different about us. We are all created to be in community and to be in relationship with God.

God intentionally created the woman from the flesh and bone of the man, so that the two would be of the same human substance and share the human experience. This is the creation of community.

There are multiple types of relationships in community; hence, parents and children, spouses, siblings, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and many others. Each type of relationship has its function and purpose in our lives; each one enriches and holds us accountable in its own unique ways. This is the beauty of community. We are better together. We are stronger together. When we are divided, we fall. We flourish together. We are bone of bone and flesh of flesh. Our actions have ripple effects in our communities, both in meaningful and detrimental ways.

Crystal Rook

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Lord God, help me to make my communities better together and to realize that my actions don’t affect just myself but also affect others in my life. Lord, help me to be my best self, so that my communities will become what you destined them to be. Amen.

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Open our eyes to see everyone in our community.

Increase our hearing to listen to your creation.

Bless our hands to help those who need our help in our community.

Open our hearts to receive everyone in our community.

Teach us to be in community.

Water and Grow us into Ubuntu – the essence of being human.

Crystal Rook

Elder Crystal Rook, MDiv, MACC is an activist, community organizer, womanist preacher, and rising scholar in Winston-Salem, NC. She’s passionate about the intersections of food justice, faith, race, spirituality, and body politics. She enjoys watching movies, writing, coloring, and spending time with family and friends.

Take My Life and Let It Be

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