How often have you been asked, even by a complete stranger, if you knew so and so in the military and, to your surprise, you did? It is suggested that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world and that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in the world. The power behind the six-degree-of-separation theory can be mind boggling if we reflect on the thought that it should be possible for someone on the opposite side of this planet to hear and be affected by our faith story just because we told it to someone we knew.
The six degree theory has been supported by a scientific experiment, popularized by a movie and even exploited in a popular TV commercial linked to a hair product. The commercial’s “friend of a friend “starts with an individual using a product and enjoying the results so much they want to share. An image of one person is shown as the words are spoken… “if you tell someone, they will tell someone, then they will tell someone…. “. More images appear and soon we see the faces of hundreds of people who have heard the news of that product just because one person, who liked it, shared their thoughts with another. The individual who started the sharing did not go into elaborate detail of the product or delve in any associated policy or doctrines. They just told someone why they liked it and it spread from there.
Still uncertain about the validity of this planetary connection? This week I attended the high school graduation of a grandchild who lives in another province. In attendance were over 100 students from 25 plus communities and a couple of thousand spectators. One speaker introduced the connectivity of the community by randomly selecting a high school student from the graduation class and asking those (less her fellow class mates) who knew her on a first name basis to stand up. Immediately a few people stood, then when asked from those remaining seated, if we knew any of the people standing by their first name, to also stand and so on and so on. By the fourth call almost all the three thousand plus people were standing. This was a powerful image that showed the possibility of sharing some Good News to a couple of thousand people just by starting with someone we knew on a first name bases.
Isaiah was worried about being unable to tell God’s story because of who he was and whom he lived amongst. God called him and all He initially expected from Isaiah was for him to be attentive to the calling and then allow God to prepare him for what was to follow. There is no doubt we are called to share our faith but often we don’t hear or respond because we worry about what to say or even whether it matters. We are asked to share the Good News of Jesus and in most cases, God just wants us to share what has changed in our lives since we chose to follow Jesus. The human desire that people have regarding their existence, enhanced by Holy Spirit, will keep this story rolling.
God choses whose eyes and ears will be open to His message but we are able to go to Him in prayer and let Him know the names of those we want to hear His message. We can also pray that these friends are inspired and complied to share the news with another who in turn will share with another and so on and so on. It does start with us saying “Here I am. Send me”. We should speak with God about our involvement so that someone around the world will call on the name of Jesus’ just because someone knew ours.