Zipping through my favorite HEB for some eggs and milk, I caught sight of the book Life Without Limits, with its cover photo of Nick Vujicic—who has no arms or legs. Somebody had to put him there for that photo, I thought as I reached for the eggs. Someone has to put him on that stool when he speaks. I grab the milk. And take him down. Virtually every place he goes, someone must be with him and take care of him. Find the checkout lane. He really, truly, cannot survive without community. Like a newborn baby or an infirm old man, Nick must rely on others just to survive.
Of course, so must the rest of us, I realize. We just don’t experience that every day, lacking the visual Nick has. But how many of us are dying on the vine for lack of friends? My last year or so in Phoenix, I experienced withdrawal of community, as God closed down longtime friendships, preparing me to move. He’s the One who did it, but it was still painful. Since settling here in Texas, I realize that making an old friend takes time. I recall the blessing of community I have enjoyed in the past—and took for granted. Deep, abiding community that the early church experienced in Acts. Friends to enjoy in the good times, and people to be there when life falls apart. Intimacy takes risk, yes, but it is well worth the pursuit. Without it, life is solitary confinement.