Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

At least for a season, every issue of The Pinecone, will remind us of our beloved chaplain, Don Johnson. Every month, in the Chaplain’s Corner, He spoke to our community… sometimes a challenge to work on developing our “spiritual life;” sometimes calling us to work on our relationships; always inspiring us to be more than we are. 

I am humbled and challenged by the invitation to “fill in the empty magazine space” left by Don’s death. I use those words, “fill in the magazine space,” deliberately. In no way would I presume to take Don’s place. I will do my best to use the space to inspire and challenge us. 

Reverend Don Johnson
Reverend Don Johnson 

Put Your Thinking Cap On

I’m calling this column REFLECTIONS. To reflect is to ponder, to meditate and contemplate. Reflecting is thinking about something carefully. Because this is what I’ll be doing in in these REFLECTIONS, there may be a banner accompanying the article calling you to PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAP. The term “thinking cap” denotes an imaginary cap to be worn in order to facilitate thinking. My high school teacher who influenced me most would often say that when we were beginning to explore a new subject. 

baseball cap with a lightbulb

So put on your thinking cap. Let’s think about The shared life of the people of God. 

In Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms, the hero is about to walk along a heavy but rotting beam over a brooding, murky creek. Starting over, stepping gingerly . . . he felt he would never reach the other side: always he would be balanced here, suspended between land and in the dark and alone. Then feeling the board shake as Idabel started across, he remembered that he had someone to be together with. And he could go on. 

Isn’t this our experience? It certainly has been mine. I shiver at the thought of having to go it alone. I get chills when I consider where I might be if, at the right time, I had not felt the board shake because someone was walking with me! 

Life in community, particularly the Christian walk is a shared journey. Whether Christian or not, living in a community such as ours at Kirby Pines, we do not walk alone; others walk with us. Paul provided some guidance for our journey together. I urge you to read Gal. 6:1-6. 

Paul is talking about interrelatedness and interdependence. This principle is laced throughout Paul’s epistles. If one member suffers all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (1 Cor. 12:26 R.S.V.). We who are strong ought to bear the failings of the weak (Rom. 15:1 R.S.V). The new life into which we have been born through Christ is a shared life. Because we belong to Christ, we belong to each other. In community, we are bound to each other, to Christ, and to God. Our life is a shared life. 

-Maxie Dunnam