Now that the local Unitarian Universalist congregations are done with their summer schedules and are back to regular Sunday services, we’re back to visiting churches.
Today, the minister offered a reading in which Rev David Bumbaugh suggests that the fall of mankind wasn’t caused by an apple or a conversation with a snake, but rather by a backscratcher. The idea is that until the backscratcher, when we had that itch we couldn’t quite reach between our shoulderblades, we had to have someone else scratch it. By allowing us to reach the itch on our own, the backscratcher gave us the idea that we could be self-sufficient, and we were banished from the Garden where all creatures are interdependent into a world where we’re all trying to go it alone.
I’ve had some trouble developing the kind of community I want since we moved here. Granted, it’s only been three months, but I’m feeling particularly sensitive to the setbacks and plunge into hopelessness rather too readily, I think (at least I hope it’s too readily). I’ve found myself listening longingly to that surly voice in my head that says, “I don’t need them! I don’t need anybody!” The voice sounds a lot like Steve Martin in The Jerk.
Being at church today reminded me just how much I do need that interaction and that interdependence. It’s a painful reminder because it means I have to keep on trying and keep on risking rejection (or at least missed connections, which feel to me like rejections).
As painful as it is, though, it’s just what I needed to hear today.
Back to the socializing grind. Well, maybe after I energize with a few hours of reading.