Sunday, October 29, 2006

Investments and Returns

Today Justin (good friend, former seedsacker at our warehouse, and Paul’s former student) showed up at church with Marina, who is from Ohio and whom Justin is Officially Courting.

"I feel like I already know you," I told Marina.

And over Sunday dinner we discussed the fact that as a family and church, we feel like we kind of "own" Marina and Justin. They’re not just an entity to themselves. We’re all invested here, and we’ll all be watching.

See, we have been keeping up with Justin’s life through conversations, email, his blog, his mom, and now Marina’s blog.

In a similar vein, I felt like Jenny was the whole church’s baby when she was born 7 years ago. It seemed like everyone in church helped me survive that horrible pregnancy. Various women brought supper in for weeks, Paul’s mom and Dorothy did laundry for me, Barb cleaned my kitchen every Saturday for a while, everyone prayed for me, Paul gave pre-sermon updates on my condition, Louise bought me a beautiful maternity outfit, Bonnie gave me a little newborn-size outfit to keep my eyes on the goal, and on and on.

And when Jenny was born the church threw a big shower for her. I felt like everyone joined us in loving and welcoming her. And dear old Ralph Holderman buttonholed Paul after church one Sunday and said, "I just want you to know that I think your baby is unusually cute!"

Similarly, I feel invested in every graduate from our church school, every young person that is baptized, every child I teach in Sunday school, every young person my children hang out with, every young mom that comes to me for advice.

A very urban-professional friend of mine read my column last spring about our ladies’ retreat at the coast and confessed to me that she could hardly imagine being part of such a group. "I have to admit it sounded almost smothering," she said.

Not everyone at our church is comfortable with sharing their lives publicly, and that’s fine. I admit I have my moments when I want to move to Tahiti and live in a grass hut on the beach and not see anyone for about six months.

But most of the time I think there are enormous benefits to sharing your life with a group and having their collective skills and wisdom to draw from when you need it.

I hope Justin and Marina don’t feel smothered. I hope they feel cared for and supported and cheered on.

And I can’t wait to have a good chat with Justin’s mom after Marina leaves. (Bwahahahaha!)

Quote of the Day:
"Aunt Dorcas is full of insightful truths."
--Jessi. (I like Jessi. Today is her 19th birthday and I feel like I kind of 'own' her too.)


  1. I like Jessi, too. I also like your writing. I always enjoy your posts and your quote of the day often gives me a much needed laugh. So thanks!

  2. yeah, i'm with you there. and maybe marina felt overwhelmed but i have a feeling she can handle it. :-)

  3. I have to admit Aunt Dorcas, I've been closely watching your blog for the past week for when I would be quoted and I found it. :)