Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger:

Instinctually, most animals have a “stranger-danger” radar. As humans, we often call this part of us our reptilian brain. It triggers our fight, flight, freeze, and fawn response. To that, we humans bring a great deal of lore, legend, myth, and ethos to create in-groups and out-groups - tribalism. We tend to see a world of “us” and “them” and often turn that into “us vs them.” We spend much of our lives attempting to get further “in” so that we don’t have to fear being outside of the circles of trust and community. So we create teams, we create a “other”, we stoke stranger danger, and we call that which is unfamiliar “alien” and often “enemy” and describe the other as hostile. What if we can go from “us vs them” to seeing the world through “I & Thou?” What if we can put aside our fears, hates, suspicions, and instead create friendships, neighbors and neighborhoods, communities and congregations? What happens when we remember that we too were strangers in the land of Egypt? What happens when we remember that we too find ourselves laying on the side of the road left for dead in need of someone, anyone, to help us? What if we can awaken to the fact that no one should be outside of the circle?

Based on Scripture: Luke 10:25-37