I took part in a retreat once in which the leader gathered the group into a circle and handed out three balls of colored yarn. She asked us to toss the balls back and forth to one another across the circle, each holding onto a piece of it. The result was a beautiful, multicolored web stretched across the center of the circle. “Each of you take turns and wiggle your thread,” the leader instructed. What we found was that every movement vibrated the entire web. And it dawned on me – this immeasurable truth we were portraying. We are each a thread woven into the vast web of the universe, linked and connected so that our lives are irrevocably bound up with one another. I looked at those faces around the circle in a new way. The old adage, “I am my brother’s keeper” – or in this case, my sister’s keeper – melted into something new: I am my sister. And suddenly I wanted to gather them to me and do what I could to heal them and bless them and affirm to them how beautiful they were.

Sue Monk Kidd in Communion, Community, Commonweal: Readings for Spiritual Leadership by John S. Mogabgab