96447271Lady stands before an open window Staring so far away She can almost feel the southern wind blow Almost touching her restless day

She turns from her window to me Sad smile her apology Sad eyes reaching to the door

Daylight loses to another evening And still she spares me the word goodbye And sits alone beside me fighting her feelings Struggles to speak but in the end can only cry.

[My Opening Farewell Jackson Browne]

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians By our love, by our love, Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love

[We Are One in the Spirit Peter Scholtes]

I came to appreciate “Lost” late. I refer of course to the popular TV series about a group of air crash survivors working our their lives on some unknown island. It was on at an hour that didn’t sync with my weekly schedule so I didn’t watch.

But I noticed my two boys making a point to follow the show. So I took in a few episodes. I got hooked.

The acting is great. The premise of the show is intriguing. The main characters of the show are an intriguing summary of human frailty. They all come with horrendous personal baggage (pun unintended), with relational failure being the worst. So what moved me most about the show were the vignettes of relational grace.

This really came through in the last three episodes of Season One.

There is a Korean couple among the survivors. The husband doesn’t speak English. The wife does and the husband only finds out as the show unfolds. The guy is one of four people attempting to leave the island on a raft. They have had many fights. She thinks he is leaving because he is mad at her.

She still loves him and just before he leaves she gives him a gift — a book that she wrote containing phonetic spellings, in Korean, of common English words.

At that point they break down. The hold each other. He apologizes for all the pain he has caused her. She says she loves him and that there was no need for him to go. He tells her the real reason he is leaving — so that he can get help in order to save her.

This was a powerful moment, beautifully done, well acted.

This was one of many such powerful scenes of relational grace scattered throughout Season One, especially in the final episodes.

Jack and ‘Sawyer’ (real name Ford) are two protagonists vying for the affections of a girl. They have had many run ins. ‘Sawyer’ is one of the four leaving on the raft. Just before ‘Sawyer’ leaves. Jack comes and wishes him well. In return, ‘Sawyer’ tells Jack that he had met Jack’s father and that the father had told ‘Sawyer’ that he felt that Jack was a better doctor (father and son were doctors) and that the father loved Jack but didn’t have the courage to tell him.

In an earlier episode we knew that the father had died before Jack could find him and reconcile with him. Jack was plagued with the feeling that he had failed his father and that his father was angry with him. (Jack had been the one who ended his father’s medical career.)

Upon hearing ‘Sawyer’s’ revelation, Jack breaks down and cries. Again, beautifully done.

One of the first and most obvious consequences of humankind’s breach with God because of sin, is the breakdown of relationships between human beings. From being “bone of my bone”, Eve is now the cause of Adam’s sin, the one to blame (Genesis 2:23 cr. 3:12). When humankind becomes disconnected from God they become disconnected from each other.

This breakdown in relationships between human beings now cuts across all relationships most of which are shown on “Lost” — husband vs wife, rich vs poor, race vs race, formally educated vs street smarts, father vs son, young vs old, human being vs human being…

Yet as the final episodes of Season One show, deep down, we still long for relational harmony. We all hunger for that relational grace that connects people. We long for it and yet it is in terribly short supply. Each day’s papers is a fresh listing of man’s inhumanity to their own kind.

Our disconnectedness to each other, though dramatized by the Iraqs and the Palestines, is actually much more pervasive and much more subtle. Everyday most of us are in the midst of masses of humanity. But like passengers boarding a plane, we are close but disconnected, each of us alone.

Aboard airplanes, legs bump into other legs; strangers stand up to allow passage to the microscopic bathroom; but these strangers were mostly invisible to each other, just as so many of us are to each other every day. [Andy Dehnart MSNBC]

Here is one overwhelming pathos of the human race. We are all lonely, all longing to love and be loved, but having all our attempts at relationships sabotaged by sin. I guess this is one definition of hell.

How are we to reconnect? How can sinful human beings relate to each other again? Only when we are connected to God again. Jesus and his bunch of merry men show the way.

If you recall, the original 12 apostles included a tax collector, Matthew, and a Zealot, Simon (Matthew 10: 2-4). Under normal circumstances, Matthew should be turning Simon in to the Roman authorities, And Simon should be plunging a dagger into Matthew’s back.

Tax collectors would have been seen as the most hated of the Jewish turncoats by religiously motivated patriotic rebels like the Zealots. Yet here was a tax collector and a Zealot in the same group, only because of their common allegiance to Jesus.

The only way for human beings to truly connect again is for them to first reconnect back to God. Even then I suspect there are some wounds so deep that they can only be fully healed in heaven. But whether in the life to come or in this life, only Jesus can bring tax collectors and Zealots together.

In the meantime we gasp and we hope when we catch vignettes of relational grace portrayed in the media. Like in “Lost.”

I am a bit apprehensive about the second season of “Lost” because it is not the convoluted plot that is “Lost’s” real strength. It’s the characters. It would be a shame if the series became another run-of-the-mill action/conspiracy/sci-fi thriller.

But I am glad that for a few episodes at least, I was warmed by powerful portrayals of human beings reaching out across chasms of hatred and suspicion, so that hearts could touch. Mine was.

Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan