Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Dependence

I am back in Honduras after spending almost a month in the US.  It was a wonderful family and friend filled visit.  As the month went on, I found myself thinking alot about independence and dependence.  Independence is a good thing, something we all strive for from the moment we are born.  I will never forget my younger son, Hunter, as a toddler stomping around the house declaring, "I will do it mine self!"   Yes, independence is a quality we all value highly.  Conversely, dependence...not so much.  Have you ever "diagnosed" someone with the pop-psychology term of co-dependency?  We hear it all the time, often accompanied by a sneer.  No one wants to be on the receiving end of that!  So my visit in the US included my older son, Billy's, graduation from law school - an "independence" milestone. My time in the US also included my father's 90th birthday extravaganza.  Clearly, independence is top of mind at his age -- holding on to it as long as possible. (So far so good.)

It was during Daddy's party that I starting reflecting on dependence.  Is being dependent with someone you love a bad thing? I don't think so.  I think that is what God intended for our relationships.  To be in dependence with each other.  I see it in the relationships of the 90 somethings at Daddy's party.  The loving couples who share everything with each other, take care of each other and love each other in that is more often "in sickness" than "in health."   And yet, in wheelchairs, with fading memories, and hearing aids at full volume they wear their hearts on their sleeves...

I see the children at the Children's Home naturally caring for each other, being in dependence with each other.  Even the tiniest ones participate.  One of my favorite pictures is from a year ago of Paola (4) holding hands with her sister, Fani (3), and their nephew, Lester (2) walking "home" together across the courtyard to their cottage after a big birthday party.   Or when the children make sure their caretakers get a piece of the candy the visiting team is handing out.  Or the older children carrying the younger children on the long procession to the Easter baptism.

The dependence we fight the hardest, I think, is the most important of all.  Dependence on our Lord.  He assures us we have nothing to worry about but we do anyway.  We struggle through life trying to be independent of the one who loves us the most.   The One who chooses to be co-dependent with us.  St. Augustine said: "Without God, we cannot; without us, God will not."  

Imagine, God chooses to be dependent on us to do His work in this life.   In return, He offers us everything.  I want to be co-dependent with God.  I'm working on it...

Lester, Paola, Fani walking home