Food for the Flock 50

November 21, 2018

I need to be a better human.


I like to think of myself as fiercely independent. I hang on to the ability of self-government with a tenacious grip. Sometimes that’s not very helpful. Like two weeks ago when I found myself in the Emergency Department of the local hospital. I was betrayed by an erratic heartbeat.


Atrial Fibrillation is not new to me. I’ve been experiencing it off and on since my late forties. The average heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute. This time mine was romping along at 217 BPM and showing no sign of slowing down. I tried thinking happy thoughts and slowing my breathing. Denial didn’t work either. I grudgingly agreed to spend a night or two in the Wayne Hospital Hilton.


While I was there, I had a lot of time to wrestle with my loss of autonomy. I didn’t want all the people fussing around me. I didn’t want to let anyone know that I was out of commission. Finally, I had to reach out because of my dog who was and is totally dependent on me.


I rediscovered that I am terrible at asking for and graciously receiving help. Yet, my calling is to encourage others to depend on each other and God. I preach, “We are better together.” God asks us to put aside our stiff-necked selves and strive to be the authentic self. Ironic isn’t it?


Being an authentic self is to recognize that God is God and I am not. Being authentic is to recognize that I can’t convert my heart rhythm without doctors and nurses to administer meds. It is a good thing I have a dog to remind me that I need the help of others.


See what I mean? I need to be a better human. I have to work on the balance between receiving and giving, dependent and independent. I need to let God be God because I am not.


God creates humans, not super self-contained beings or family units. God sent his Son to save everyone from denial and expose the fierce independence of mortals who often try to be God. Every time our hands are lifted to receive the body and blood of Christ, we are saying, “Help me. I can’t live without your love, grace, and healing.”


Pastor Joanna

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