Thursday, September 08, 2005

"You Scratch My Back..."

I wrote this in my journal a few days ago, and now I'm posting it here...


Several weeks ago, I spent a few days in rural MT, amidst farmers and ranchers who preserve a way of life that is lost to the rest of America. Not only is it slower-paced (think: tractor driving down the highway), but there's a sense of community that fences and cars and cable internet and cell phones have obliterated elsewhere. Yeah, that means everybody knows everybody else's business and they wonder who the new people in town are related to. But it also means that you can leave your front door unlocked, you will personally know (or be related to) all of your kids' teachers, and when your combine breaks, somebody else wil hurry to finish so you can use theirs.

Unfortunately, the city dwellers' leap into a high-tech, fast-paced life hasn't eliminated the need for reliance upon those around us. I think what it's done is made the need less obvious, perhaps less frequent, and of a different type. We are lulled into believing that we are autonomous, self-sufficient. But sooner or later we find that we are not. It could be a financial disaster, a tragedy, being overwhelmed with life's demands, or a sudden change of plans.

How much better to live in community, where we are constantly looking for ways to serve each other. I'm not talking about communism; we know that human nature will do its worst in that sort of setting. I'm talking about a Christian "think of others more highly than yourselves," "rejoice with those who rejoice," "serve one another out of brotherly love" type of community.

Brothers and sisters, this is the function of the body of Christ, be we city dwellers, rural residents, citizens of MT, NY, FL, Beliz, Siberia, Egypt or Madagascar. Locally, I've been privileged to experience people serving me multiple times this summer -- as I packed up in Philly and moved to MT, later as I moved into my house, and most recently as I plan and execute my landscaping. I thank God SO much for those who are looking out for my interests -- sometimes even more than I am!


I wrote this before I knew the extent to which Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the Gulf Coast. I hope and pray that the body of Christ will be as much of a blessing on a national level to Katrina's victims as it has been to me on a very local level.


And on an administrative note, you might notice that you now have to do a word verification in order to comment. I activated this blogger setting because I've been getting quite a bit of comment spam recently -- as you probably saw. Please don't let this discourage you from commenting!

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