So, fighting a cold and sore throat the last few days has meant that I've been watching a lot of M*A*S*H . . . maybe a little too much of it when it's becoming an illustration for a blog post.
For those who have never watched M*A*S*H, the character names in the descriptions may not make a lot of sense, but you should still be able to get the point.
The first thing that got me thinking about writing this blog is a scene where Margaret and Klinger are driving. They hit a rock on the road and put a whole in the oil pan of the jeep meaning they are stuck there for night - as it is too late to walk back to camp. This is not exactly what Margaret had in mind when they set out. She was looking forward to plans for her birthday. She hadn't told anyone that it was her birthday, so Klinger is naturally a little surprised when she says so. When he asks why, her response is that she didn't want others to be feeling sorry for her - that was something she wanted to reserve for herself.
As I was watching that unfold, I started thinking about how often we do exactly the same thing. We want to reserve for ourselves the "right" to feel sorry for ourselves, so we don't share with others about our disappointments. But, that's not the way we were created to live. God created us for community - with a desire for a sense of belonging.
The second spot that got me thinking about this more was in an episode where one of the nurses at the 4077 gets killed by a landmine. Hawkeye volunteers to deliver the euology at the memorial service they have for her. In the process, he discovers how little he knew of this nurse - how little anyone in the camp knew of her. Upon suggestion of the camp's chaplain, Hawkeye reads the diary of this nurse and realizes that some of their preconceived ideas about why she was so quiet and kept so much to herself were very wrong. She was shy and didn't know how to express herself to people. Hawkeye is also a character who doesn't really share much of his deeper feelings with people - he uses jokes to cover them up - and he takes the time during the eulogy to let those people at the 4077 that important to him know.
As I watched that episode, I started to think about how we so often do the same thing. We don't actually tell people what they mean to us - usually because we don't know how because we've never done it before. And sometimes,we then don't have the opportunity to tell them later. Another aspect of living in community with one another that's important.
The sermon this weekend at church was about belonging and how that is found first in belonging to Christ. But, once we belong to Christ, we also belong to the family of God. That's the place where we can be honest with one another, encourage one another, pray for one another. Society may tell us that we should be strong and independent and go it alone, but God designed us for community and we search for that place to belong.