Saturday, 7 November 2009

caring and sharing... vs. co-dependency?

July 22, 2009

Made cow patty cookies and iced tea for Tuesday morning coffee. Father, it seems like people just pop in for coffee and snacks, then leave quickly… of course it is nice outside so they are less likely to stick around than in the winter… and most of the crowd leaves about 8:30 to go to the liquor store for the 9 am opening…

This morning at coffee someone had left (donated) some nice shoes and they were taken joyfully by someone else. One of the guys had no socks, and another guy gave him his extra pair. Pastor P gives out socks regularly…. I guess when people don’t have washing facilities or homes, they just wear their socks till they are unwearable anymore?... and one guy was needing a backpack, so one of the gals gave him hers. Sometimes I’m thinking, “Why don’t you just straighten out your life?” But I’m beginning to see how difficult that is. And, I am blown away by how these guys and gals are so real family to each other, helping and caring for each other far more generously than the rest of us do (when everything they own is in a backpack!). … Yet then I find myself thinking, “Hmmm… co-dependency…” and yet, when I read how the early church totally shared and cared, you don’t find me thinking, “Co-dependency!” Of course, they also insisted that those who could work to support themselves, did… and that those who couldn’t, and who were supported by the body, were those who fulfilled certain criteria (like widows who had no one to take care of them, and were too old to remarry). At the same time, when circumstances (like poverty caused by famine, persecution, etc) occurred, the others pitched in joyfully and totally generously (even when they had little themselves) to support and help.

I guess it requires wisdom to know the line between “caring and sharing,” and “co-dependency.” (And getting to really know people… and understand the circumstances they are in… and find out how far they’ve already come… and know their heart… boy oh boy, what a difference that understanding makes… I’m embarrassed about how I’ve been thinking!) That’s why teaching and encouragement and edification and prayer and seeking and obeying and loving the Lord .. and loving one another with the love of the Lord… are so important… How long does it take to move new believers into a mature walk and relationship with God and with the body? How are we to “judge” when they’ve “gotten there”? (oh dear! I’d hate for my journey to be judged! I’m so slow!).

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