by Becky Brooks
Ever since the beginning, people have created stories to help explain things. This is one of those kinds of stories.
One day, near the beginning of the time of people on the earth, the source of all creation sat at a table, peering into a tiny crystal that was like a window into the world. The source of all creation was kind of sad. You see, just a little while before, the source of all had created a most magnificent thing: the human being. There were a bunch of them now—people—running around out there in the world. The humans seemed okay. They were eating and sleeping and enjoying the view and other things, but something was missing.
In a flash, the source of all realized what it was that was missing and took a deep breath and let it out again, over the world. This created a kind of gentle breeze all over the earth and as the humans breathed in, some while they were eating, some while they were sleeping, some while they were enjoying the view and other things, as the humans breathed in, this special something entered into their bodies with the air and became part of them. This special something was Spirit. Once this spirit had entered the human world, things began to change.
The human beings began to have ideas about things. They began to invent things. They began to think of stories. They began to laugh. They began to cry. Meaning had entered the world. But the thing that made the source of all creation the most happy was that human beings began to imagine their creator. And as the source of all creation watched, the crystal began to grow. With each new idea humans imagined about their creator, the crystal grew and grew to have room for them all. And with each new idea, the source of all creation smiled because when humans imaged their creator, their creator felt a little ticklish sensation inside as the creator's identity changed and changed again.
As the humans imagined these things—not one at a time, but all at once—the source of all creation became these things—not one at a time, but all at once.
Some humans imagined the creator to be like a mother and the source of all creation was like a mother.
Some humans imagined the creator to be like a stone and the source of all creation was like a stone.
Some humans imagined the creator to be scientific principles and the source of all creation were scientific principles.
Some humans imagined there was no creator and the source of all creation did not exist.
Some humans imagined the creator to be human and the source of all creation was human.
As the crystal grew and grew to make room for each new, unique idea, the source of all creation was happy and joyful and, maybe more than anything, proud of the human beings who were so creative and talented.
But as the source of all creation watched, the crystal began to tremble, deep down inside. The crystal shook and cracks began to spread through it. It shook and shook and suddenly it burst apart, small shards of crystal going everywhere.
The source of all creation gathered each small piece into a bowl. Peering into each piece, the source of all saw that in each broken piece of the crystal was only one way of thinking about the creator. Inside one piece were humans who imagined the creator one way and inside the next piece were only humans who imagined the creator a different way. As the source of all gathered each piece and examined it, it became clear that the ideas had rubbed so hard against each other that they couldn't remain part of the same whole crystal any longer. That is why the crystal had shattered.
Looking out over all the many, many pieces, the source of all creation was sad again. It had been so wonderful to witness all those ideas in one place, in one world. The source of all wondered if there was any way to bring the crystal together again.
In a flash, the source of all realized what to do. The source of all creation made an Idea and took that idea and stretched it out, again and again, like taffy, making it long and thin and flexible, like a thin golden thread. The source of all took this golden thread and made one end of it into a sharp point that could pierce the crystal and set to work.
The source of all creation took each unique, broken piece of crystal and threaded the golden cord through the very center. One, then another, then another, until every piece of crystal was bound together along this golden thread. In the end, the source of all creation had made a beautiful beaded quilt that held every piece of the crystal together again and they shone like all the stars in the sky.
That is why the religions of the world, created both by people and by the mysteries of life, have running through them at least one common theme, one golden thread. Like each unique piece of the crystal, Unitarian Universalism has, running through its center a miraculous idea. Different religions have different ways of talking about this idea. Some say "be kind to each other," some say "do onto others as you would have them do onto you," some say "harm no one," some say, "love your neighbor." The words are different, but they all remind us of the same idea, the idea of the golden thread that keeps us together.