Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving Day

We live in an older neighborhood with several rental properties. We have seen quite a few folks come and go over the five years that we've lived here. One of those rentals is directly across the street.

I've noticed a pattern over that time. You can usually tell when they won't stay long. For instance, the last tenants. They moved in with one minivan full of stuff, and that was it. One friend showed up to help. And maybe I'm over-thinking it here, but at one point later in their "stay" the man came over and asked to borrow a screwdriver. It seems to me that anyone committed to settling down, being on their own, etc., would own a screwdriver. But, I'm digressing from my point. He had ONE person show up to help. It seems he had no support system; No family that I ever saw. This particular guy had the police kick in the door and drag him out in handcuffs a few months ago.

Tonight, some new neighbors are moving in. It is currently 3:45 a.m. (I couldn't sleep) and they are still moving in. They had nine cars here about an hour ago, but they are down to three now. (Seriously, thats a good friend that will help you move 'til almost three in the morning). And they have stuff-- probably even a screwdriver in there somewhere. And I saw a baby... might not be the tenants' baby...we'll see. I think these folks will last a while.

The common denominator that I have noticed is the people there to assist the move... or not. People who will help you move means people who care. People who have built time into your life... like parents. And friends who share common interests and encourage you to keep going when life gets tough.

This brought to mind a part of a poem by John Donne I had to memorize in High School:

No man is an island, entire of itself.
Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

This also caused me to remember Romans 12:4-8:

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

God designed the family, and specifically the church in the passage. The unbelieving world imitates God's perfect design with things like "community" and "a village" (if you're a Hillary Clinton fan... for the record I am not). But, this brings out a truth that even non-believers recognize; we cannot do this on our own. And even if you think you can, Romans 12 tells us that God has gifted you for service in the Body of Christ.

For even the most dedicated Christian who might say that he is praying to the Lord for his needs to be met, and trusting God's strength, may well be missing the blessings and power to live godly if he neglects the Body. How many times have I heard (and even said), "I am trusting God in this trial, but I just wish I had an answer with some skin on it?" Behold, the Body of Christ. The Lord Jesus knew you and I would feel that way and gave us to one another to minister until he returns. God help us connect with believers to avoid the danger of robbing one another of spiritual blessings and ministry.