Our friends at Englewood Christian are encouraging Christians this Fourth of July to focus on our inter-dependence rather than our in-dependence. They write:

“Independence is overrated and more than that it is a myth.  We are all utterly interdependent beings from birth to death.  We could not survive without microbes that help build our soil and the plants and trees that create oxygen and offer us food; we would never become mature adults without teachers and mentors; our cities would be full of disease if we didn’t have people who collect our garbage.  More than Independence Day we need an Interdependence Day to celebrate our dependence upon one another and the earth, and our ultimate dependence upon God.”

Last Friday the Lotus House celebrated our interdependence with a communal bike ride to Forest Park, where we enjoyed lemonade and funnel cake at the St. Louis Fair. On Friday evening, some of our wonderful neighbors invited us to join their Fourth of July party, which included mountains of delicious food and a pile of fireworks slightly taller than Dylan. The children shot firecrakers until nearly midnight.

Since we arrived in North City, we have been made to feel welcomed and accepted by our Lotus neighbors. When we moved onto the block, we thought (patronizingly) that we were coming to “help” these people. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much help we needed; a week after we bought the house, a pipe froze and burst while we were out of town. It was our Lotus neighbors who contacted the water company and had the water shut off – all before they even knew us. That act of grace set the tone for our stay on Lotus, and serves as a continual reminder that we can’t do it alone. As the great desert father Anthony of Egypt said, “Our life and our death is with our neighbor.” We need good neighbors, even as we are called to be good neighbors in turn.