“It seems obvious to say that I wrote this book. Mine are its ideas, its organization, its formulations. But that’s a superficial kind of ‘mine-ness.’ Most of what’s in the book has been given to me. . . . I was able to write this book because I’ve received from teachers, family, friends, students, and audiences. And I’ve received in such ways that I often can’t tell where what’s originally mine stops and where what came from others begins.”Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge, quoted in Leeman, The Rule of Love, 73.
We imprint on one another. We indwell one another. Whether spouses, siblings, parents, children, students, teachers, friends–we’re all influencing one another constantly.
Amazingly, with all this mutual mingling of body and soul, we mysteriously remain individuals.We’d struggle to believe it possible–if it weren’t constantly illustrated in millions of ways each and every day. How can my child be so much like me and my wife, yet totally her own person simultaneously?
These holy mysteries are reflective of the One-God-Three-Persons Mystery that Christians know and worship, The Holy Trinity. Made in His Image, we humans are mysteriously and gloriously communitarian.
So, thank you. To all of you who have imprinted me in ways great or small, I thank you. Your individuality has enhanced my own, and has built commonality between us that continues to grow and spread, generously adding value to the world around us.