Holy & Whole

What "Wilson" from Castaway Teaches Us About Relationships

Pastor Luke Whitehead

You and I were made for relationships. Introverts were made for relationships. Extroverts were made for relationships. Everyone on the Myers Briggs or Enneagram spectrum was made for relationships. Yes, those relationships play out in unique ways depending on the God-given personalities we have, but all of us are in need of relationships. Like “Wilson”, Churck Nolan’s trusty volleyball sidekick from the movie Castaway, we all just need someone to talk to. We all need relationships.

We recall that the first “not good” of the Bible occurs because man is alone (Gen. 2:18). Think about that. Man is in paradise with mango fresher than what our team gets in Costa Rica, he can wrestle with a lion, and ivy has yet to become poisonous!

Yet, there is still a “not good” because man is alone and no perfect relationship is to be found. Even dogs, who we call “man’s best friend”, will not suffice for the relationship that is needed for the freshly made human.

During this quarantine many of us are still in relationships, but it’s different. We aren’t hugging like we used to. We aren’t giving high fives like we used to. We aren’t running into people like we used to at restaurants. Our relationships continue, but they are different.

I’ve heard reports from Kira and others about new relationships that have blossomed from people calling each other. The most elderly in our church family are speaking to some of the youngest in our church family. Relationships are forming despite social distancing. Praise be to God. I pray this continues as we transition to our new normal.

One of the greatest gifts God has given Nashville is that every single generation is represented in our church family. Now that’s great, but when those generations enter into relationships with each other, oh how beautiful is the body of Christ! For it is our relationship with Christ that propels us into relationships with others in the body of Christ.

I think the psalmist said it best, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

As this odd, weird, frustrating yet beautiful, unexpected season of our life barrels on and we look to “reopening the physical church”, may we, as God’s people, continue to live together in unity. Keep calling each other. Keep praying for each other. Keep in relationship with each other. Let new relationships form. Let’s be, for the world, the unity that the world longs for, that is found only in the love of God. Let’s be, for the world, the manifestation of beautiful relationships that flow out of our relationship with God.

I look forward to, instead of looking at a camera, looking at your faces!

Luke is Pastor of Discipleship to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.