The bus garden melds with our host’s garden, forming one boisterous, green menagerie. We each care for our portion, but the watering is a joint event. A single sprinkler covers (almost) the entire garden space.
Last night, Steve and I shared a meal with our hosts (Dan and Lois), which included produce from both gardens: radishes, pasta with broccoli, rice pilaf with basil, a salad with mint dressing.
After dinner we talked about faith and played pinochle. I was dealt losing hands just about every round and eventually I gave in to my gut reaction: I threw the cards down and sent them flying across the table.
Dan and Lois give us a space to park the and grow a garden. Steve works on projects around their house and joins their boys in air soft battles. And what do I do but send pinochle cards flying with enough force to inflict paper cuts.
Fortunately, pinochle is just a game, but it is in ordinary, day by day decisions (where gut reactions can be a problem) that everyone has can chose to live charitably, interdependently, looking out not only for his or her own interests but also for the interests of others. Or not. Sometimes we throw our cards at our partners.
Steve and I choose to live in a converted bus. Dan and Lois choose to make room for us on their land. We all go about our business, but everyday our lives intersect. We battle the same gophers and jostle our cars into the same driveway. Through this interdependent experiment, Steve and I are learning how to be humble members of a community. This involves receiving without being ashamed of our needs and giving without fear of being taken advantage of.
Shame and fear. How often do these emotions keep us from living interdependently? And what might we be missing out on? As Shane Claiborne says in The Irresistible Revolution, “The reality of divine multiplication is realized only when we allow ourselves to be dependent on God and live in radical interdependence with one another.”