Chaplain Karen Borchert
” in-ter-di-pen-duh ns” 1. the quality or condition of being interdependent, or mutually reliant on each other; 2. a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects, or individuals, or groups)
How we pride ourselves on our independence. As children we delighted in the praises we received as we grew independent of our parents. What joy we felt as we moved into our first apartment, independent of our families, and when our own children became independent of us. “I just want to stay independent” my elderly mother told my family, as she, at eighty-eight, told us about her adventures with the riding lawn mower.
She got me thinking about independence, what a blessing it is, but also that it may be a façade that obscures our interdependence. For who of us is independent? We all depend upon others: grocers, bridge-builders, physicians, farmers, teachers, mechanics, and yes family members to provide us with things, skills and emotional support to successfully navigate our lives. Perhaps we were created to be interdependent, for even in God’s own person there are several parts. “Let us create humans in OUR image.” Genesis 1:26 We were created for relationship, for interdependence.
As we interact and care for one another, we reflect God’s love and God’s nature. Interdependence is one way God works in our lives. Recognizing this gift can ease the pain over the loss of our perceived independence. And so, as we learn to appreciate and even celebrate our interdependence we can receive the gift peace, acknowledging it as God’s hand moving in our lives.