One line I like to quote from time to time is from The Muppets Take Manhattan when Kermit is expressing how hard it is to survive in New York City. His boss/friend, Pete (played by Louis Zorich), gives some sage advice.
Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatoes, huh? Is peoples, is dancing, is music, is potatoes. So…peoples is peoples. OK?
It makes absolutely no sense, Kermit leaves utterly perplexed, and I love it! Pete is getting at something pretty deep, regardless of how he explains his idea. Let me translate.
Peoples is peoples. Don’t worry about if you’re going to make it in this town, Kerm-dawg. You’ll make it. Because when you boil it all down, New York City is just a city full of people like you. [Well, pseudo-people. You’re a frog and I’m not for sure what that hooked nose weirdo in the corner is.] But I digress. Everyone has insecurities but, somehow, they dig down deep inside themselves and figure life out. You’ll make it because we’re all in this together. We’re people, after all!
Pete is telling Kermit to lean on his friends, his community. It’s a great lesson I learned as a kid.
This past week, my wife had a family emergency that took her to Phoenix to be a supportive daughter. That meant that we suddenly had to find some people to be with our daughters while I was at work events: Wednesday night (3 hours), Friday night at 5 pm to Saturday night at 5:30 pm (24 1/2 hours), and Sunday night (2 hours).
Here’s the amazing thing that still stuns Rachael and me: we didn’t have to worry about a thing.
We don’t have any family in town and the closest to us are 3 hours away in Des Moines or 5 1/2 hours away in Galesburg, IL. So we had to go to friends, people from our church, for help. These people are more than work friends, more than people we met through our children’s schools or daycare. They are our community. They are people who share the mission of Christ and the love, forgiveness, and mercy God has shared with us. They are people who love us and our girls, even though we do not share biology.
They are people who amaze us.
I have been thinking all week about how this would have gone down if I didn’t have a faith community like this in my life. What if I didn’t go to a church or only went casually–even once a week–but wasn’t invested in other people’s lives? I can’t imagine that I would have been able to find friends to be with our kids during this time. It would have been so stressful.
If you don’t have a community of people like this, invest in a local church. Off the top of your head, who would you be able to count on to help you out in a pinch like that? In my experience, the people we find in a Christ following community are always there to back us.
To the people who were our super heroes last week [you know who you are], THANK YOU. You are loved by us Swansons. We absolutely cherish that we have community with you!
The family emergency situation is working out as well as it can, which makes my community and everyone involved super relieved and happy!