Our world has become connected in ways that a couple of decades ago could only have barely been imagined. Often this is taken primarily as a matter of technology, a matter of ease of getting information, a matter of the speed of effects being felt in distant places. Hurricane Sandy and its impact in the Northeast along with all the calls that were made beyond the storm show that our connected world has also created new patterns of relationships.
The work of a marriage and family therapist is often about problems that exist in significant relationships and ways to build strength into relationships. The relationships that arise from living in a connected world are very different and can even exist between people who do not even know each other. Communications I have been involved in about the storm show how these relationships have their own way of having an impact on us.
The first message I read after working overnight in an evacuation center was an alert from the city announcing that there was serious damage to a sister congregation in Manhattan. No real details but still my thoughts went out to them and at the same time I saw this as positive news about my own church. Note that I had not heard from anyone involved with that church, but yet I felt more connected to what was going on. Not long after this, a theology student in Buffalo also felt more connected to the storm and posted “Prayers go out to everyone who is being affected in New York City by the hurricane”. Why did I feel that he was trying to be too close to a situation that he was not really connected to?