My friend, Jess, shared the following response to this post: “‘Relationships sabotage my efficiency…'” Yes. Motherhood, community, anyplace we really desire to be and see Jesus comes at the cost of laying down our own agenda- dying to self. I need to learn this again and again. And that’s why a life lived for him must be a life lived with margin – I can’t fill up the edges so there’s no room for anyone’s need.”
Margin, indeed. The one thing lacking in our privileged suburban existence. (oh, and the front porch – but that will be discussed another day).
Less achieving, more just being. With each other and for each other.
Like when I take my recovering meth addict friend home to her trailer park late at night. She doesn’t walk through her front door and close it behind her. Or drive in the garage and shut the door before the car comes to a complete stop. Completely exhausted from a day of shuttling her soul from chaos to confusion. Too spent to see someone standing right in front of her. No. She heads to the campfire in the commons area of the neighborhood. Where every night she shares life with her neighbors while the children run free playing every form of pretend imaginable. None of which would be possible if they were all scattered their separate ways in pursuit of their individual interests & activities.
Or when the sun goes down in Haiti and the music blares. And we dance. Instead of fretting about tomorrow’s to do list (or catching up on last week’s), we teach yoga to burly Haitian gods. Or quiz them on their English lessons. Or talk about our stories of redemption. And what it means to be a Christ follower. Together. But again, there are no activities to rush off to or hours of homework to complete. No neighbors with whom we need to compete. To win. At life. And birthday parties.
And we, in our castles filled with toys & our smart phones filled with noise, have the nerve to pity them. Perhaps even look down upon them in disdain. And their ability to live simply and love deeply. And their fullness of life. In the margin.
“The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor” (1 Samuel 2:7-8).
“You are to help your brothers until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you” (Joshua 1:14).