This month, we’ve been talking about the importance of connection. These past few months have been a powerful reminder that all of us need to be connected with others.

We all need connection…because we are better together than we are alone.

Here’s a question for you this week…have you ever explored a lava tube or a giant cave? If you have, then you know that they can be dark places with lots of obstacles and challenges to face when you’re exploring them. And, both of them can be extremely dangerous to explore alone.

So, what does this have to do with helping each other through this unusual season of disconnection that we’re living in? Well, in some ways, these past few months have felt like being stuck in a lava tube with no way out.

Lava River Cave in Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Deschutes National Forest

Let me explain…

There is a dormant lava tube near Bend, Oregon that I’ve explored several times with my family. And it’s a mile long from the entrance to the furthest point you can go. To get into the tube, you walk down several flights of stairs until you reach the ground where you begin the mile-long trek to the end. Along the way, there are all sorts of things to trip over or fall into or even run into…the ground isn’t always even or even uniformly consistent.

Sometimes, you’re walking on sand, sometimes on rocks, and sometimes on bridges and small pathways made of rock.

Sometimes, the way is wide and open with high ceilings.

Sometimes, it’s narrow and more confining.

And, it’s always cold…and very dark.

And, here’s the thing…in all the times I’ve been to that lava tube, I’ve never seen anyone walk into it alone. There’s just too much risk involved going into it and then getting back out of it without the help and support of others.

The point is, these past few months have been a lot like that lava tube for many of us…cold, dark, challenging, confining, uncertain, and the list goes on. And, I hope that you haven’t been trying to survive it alone.

We need each other. We need each other for support and encouragement and help as we face new challenges in these days we’re living in. So, let’s take some time this week to reach out and encourage people…let them know that they are not alone. And, remember that neither are we.