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“… to gather up all things in him…” (Ephesians 1:10)

This verse has always meant a lot to me. I’ve always understood this to mean that absolutely everything is gathered up in what is true. Nothing left behind!

Like wheat in the harvest, everything is gathered indiscriminately, and the weeds and chaff eventually are blown away, leaving behind what is true, what is real, what is substantial.

Translating this into our personal experience, our worlds should be expanding, not shrinking. Our lives should be growing into the whole field of what is, rather than shrinking and slinking away in an ideological corner to hide away in pure obscurity.

In other words, for me, this meant that I not only could, but should integrate all truth no matter where I find it. I take it all in and eventually the false falls away.

This, for me, has had social consequences. I’m always feeling the pull from different tribes to subscribe to their brand. Almost always it feels like an invitation to shrink myself and my world. I’m no longer willing to do that.

Everywhere I’ve been, everything I’ve believed, everyplace I’ve belonged, is all subsumed in who I am, nothing left behind, nothing denied, nothing rejected.

Yes, lots has fallen away of its own accord. But still, like dust in the wake of a storm, even that is caught up behind at a distance and never fully disappears from view, and only falling to the ground to rest forever.

In the face of a world of increasing division, I claim our world should be getting bigger and more inclusive.