We had read about bear spray. We knew we were headed into the home of very wild animals as travelers in their space. But we didn’t know anything about bear spray or how and when to use it. We went a couple days without renting bear spray. But then, at the very busy Canyon Village Visitor Center, the ranger recounted for us the bear that was seen the day before in the parking lot and was traveling around the campgrounds. Right then and there we renting the bear spray and watched the video of how and when to use it!
The old joke wasn’t good enough for Chad and I, though we probably teased about it. You know the one: you only have to outrun the slowest person, not the bear. We could do better. If we came upon a bear while hiking in Yellowstone, neither of us was willing to sacrifice the other for the sake of ourselves. Neither of us would be okay if we left the other behind. We are partners who are doing life together. And one of the things we learned in the informative video is never to go it alone in bear country. Two people together can present a formidable presence that can actually scare away a bear.
God made us for relationship and community and partnership in faith. We have chosen to be a community of followers together at Eden Prairie United Methodist Church. We are interconnected. We are Christian partners doing life together. We are small enough to care. We are not willing to leave anyone behind, sacrificing them to whatever bear may be chasing us all.
That bear right now seems to be the pandemic. And if we stand together, all of us together, we may be able to chase this bear away, eventually. But most importantly, we stand together. We are in relationship. We are not willing to leave anyone behind to be sacrificed by this pandemic. Following Jesus is always done in pairs and partnership.
If you are feeling left behind in this time, please let us know. If you are lonely and need more connection, please let us know. If you are without a job and need some resources to get through, please let us know. If you can’t access the worship and community building events because of the technology, please let us know. If you are hurting and need care, please let us know. We are partners on this journey of faith. We need you and you need us. And we don’t want to leave anyone behind.
It is good to be a partner with you on this Christian journey!
Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink