Yesterday, I was trying to explain to my toddler that our family is made up of her and me. We make up something bigger than the sum of our parts. Obviously, I do not think she will understand that concept because of our conversation while making diner in the kitchen, but I do want to start planting seeds in her heart about what it means to live in community. I want her to have a heart that keeps the greater community in her mind above her own individual needs.
I think this is one of the problems with the world today. We see our individual needs as superior to those of most everyone around us. Occasionally, I’ll see people put their spouses or children above themselves, but, unless related by marriage or blood, everyone else is shit up a creek.
The reason this is on my mind lately is because I think this problem has seeped into the Church. My mother recently called me and told me that her church is splitting. Half of the congregation did not like the new pastor and decided to manipulate the bylaws so they could vote him out. She was part of the other half who enjoyed the pastor, but she was mostly hurt that they would violate the bylaws the whole congregation agreed to follow. My heart broke for her and her church when she shared this news.
How quickly we let our own personal needs be more important than the standard in which we agree to live together in community. It is heartbreaking to think about the amount of hurt that process has caused. Now an entire half of that congregation is out of church and that includes all of their youth attendees. As a person who saw the church do some really messed up stuff in my youth, I can tell you it makes an impact. It says a lot to a young person when adults act like that.
In trying to teach my daughter that we are greater when we are together, I wonder how I have contributed to the community lately. How have I given to my hurting brothers and sisters lately? We are a family. I cannot exist without you in the world. You make everything better simply because you are in this with me. Thank you.