Dorotheos responded by asking them to visualize the world as a great circle whose center is God, and upon whose circumference lie human lives. ”Imagine now,” he asked them, “that there are straight lines connecting from the outside of the circle all human lives to God at the center. Can’t you see that there is no way to move toward God without drawing closer to other people, and no way to approach other people without coming near to God?”
This story is the inspiration of the symbol of JustPeace.
Dorotheos says that we cannot experience either God or our fellow human beings without moving closer to each other at the same time.
Another perspective that we would add relates to the fact that each of these human beings connected to the center is unique. No two human beings have ever been identical, even “identical twins.” Doesn’t this mean that each relationship is unique, with each other and with God? We need to respect the different relationships we have with each other and with God.
Another way to look at this circle is to suggest that the circle is God and that the center is the heart of God. In God, whether we recognize it or not, we all move, and breathe and have our being. We live in God, who is closer than our breath. God is not above or beyond but among, within and between. God is the connective tissue of life. We are each a part of God’s body. At the center, all creation comes together. The heart of God is where all is reconciled and made new. This is where we find our full humanity and the divinity most fully when we experience a moment of reconciliation with another.
For us, the vision of Dorotheos is summed up in the Great Commandment: the sum of the law and the prophets: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39) Life is about loving God, loving ourselves, and loving the other: all together, ideally, all at the same time.