Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

Young adults distance themselves from their parents as they seek their independence.

Marriages sometimes fail when one party desires the freedom of independence.

Senior citizens look to downsize, but they want to remain independent. Independent living is desirable, freeing, full of options. Assisting Living may become a necessity, but the goal for most Senior Citizens is a less complicated form of independent living.

Most of us would much rather offer to help someone else than to ask for help ourselves. Perhaps it is simply an expression of our pride, but I think that there is something more profound at work there.

Our offer of help is a benevolent, loving expression. Offering to help comes from a position of perceived power. I have something you need, and out of my generosity, I can offer you a hand. At some level it reminds us and others, that we are so independent and able to provide for ourselves, that we have the luxury of reaching out to those who can’t quite make that claim.

“Independent living.” It is an interesting concept.

Independent living is nothing more than an illusion. It is a lie, a destructive construct that does not exist. There is no such thing as independent living.

None of us would be alive if we were left alone, relying solely on our own labor, ingenuity, insight and productivity. All my life I have driven on roads that I did not construct, eaten from trees that I did not plant, used electricity that is mostly mysterious to me. Independent living is an illusion. Without the care of midwives and the nourishment of our mother’s breast we would not have survived those first days of our earthly journey.

This past week we were once again reminded of the illusion of independent living. Puget Sound Energy Power crews came to our rescue in the days after the mighty wind blew. Where they all came from, I do not know. They managed to work around the clock, providing illumination for our homes, and bringing warmth to cold places. We could not do what they did for us.

Meanwhile, truck drivers drove dangerous roadways to deliver gasoline to fuel our cars and generators. The workers at Payless stocked the shelves with food sources harvested by hands we will never shake and faces unknown to us.

Independent living is an illusion, a dangerous illusion.

The truth is, we need each other. We need the gifts, skills, and contributions of every member of our shared community. The Bible speaks of the community as a body. A body is made up of many parts; legs, eyes, ears, fingers, toes, and assorted organs. None of the body parts function on their own, they are all a part of the whole.

Independent living is an illusion. If any of our sisters or brothers are hurting, we are all hurting. If one suffers, in a real way we all suffer. We are dependent upon God, and we are dependent upon each other. We need the ferry workers, the roofers, first responders, medical professionals, and restaurant workers. The PSE Power Crews reminded us this week just how dependent we are.

Let’s not take any of our community members for granted. Express your thankfulness to them at every opportunity.

Blessed to be a Blessing! We are Blessed every day by the love, labor, and service of others.

Pastor Jim