By the time average Joes and Janes observe the almost imperceptible object’s tiny, white silhouette adrift in an ocean of blue sky, the military has already tracked it from the Aleutian islands and other parts of Alaska, through Canada, and then to Montana. From there, grainy phone camera images and impressively zoomed professional videos populate social media, news reports, and the public’s imagination showing the object over one state after another until a jet’s missile pops the balloon, dropping its 3-bus-sized payload into the Atlantic. Whether because civilian awareness requires a more aggressive response to what is already a common occurrence, or because foreign governments or industries have become more active, only a week after that first Chinese spy balloon’s lumbering trek, 3 such formerly unheard of objects have been shot down in North American airspace. There were none. Then there was one. Now they seem to be everywhere.

Someone living in Montana’s open spaces might have a hard time seeing a single point of similarity with an inhabitant of high density public housing on the east coast. A resident of Dallas may find no commonality with the telemarketer calling from Bangalore, India. Between the horizons where people live there is a vast blue ocean of differences, seemingly unpolluted by commonality. To first century (CE) Jews, gentiles were “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But disrupting those endless differences, there is one common object Paul points out: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

Having seen that one balloon, we begin to see them everywhere. Once Christians from one side of the world, one political party, one economic status, one occupation, or one level of maturity see that first disruption—the cross—in the differences they have with those on the opposite horizon, then the balloons start appearing everywhere. Faith, grace, and hope; worship, kindness, and sacrifice; struggle, failure, and humility; belief in the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Resurrected Savior—these become such a dense field of debris between us that a person can step on the pieces from one horizon to the other and barely get wet in the process.

This week, may Christianity’s truths clutter the space which formerly separated us from others.