My Polis, My Tribe

This post is a thank-you post. The past two weeks have been a shower of love, gifts, and grace.

  • We now own a double stroller! Fuzzy Bear has been getting heavier and heavier lately, as he is now FINALLY putting on weight. Up till recently, I would walk into school with the older Baby Bear in the stroller and little Fuzzy Bear in a baby carrier. After the move, we started looking around online for a good double running stroller, and goodness, aren’t those things expensive?! But then a friend of mine from school sent me a text with an image from facebook. Apparently someone on a facebook group had two double strollers that they wanted to give to a family in need. My friend contacted the owner, told him of our situation, and we now have a beautiful, practical, excellent-condition running stroller!
  • Our dear friend who is also our Pastor’s wife took both of the boys three days in one week recently, so that Thomas and I could attend a hearing for Baby Bear (which did not go as planned, but it’s all in God’s hands), and so I could attend training for our foster agency. This woman is amazing, and loves on our boys so much. Whenever Baby Bear sees her, he always leans out of my arms to get to her as soon as possible.
  • We have been attending Lenten services at a local LCMS church on Wednesday nights. They serve a dinner before the service, so we have been able to leave straight from faculty meetings to a dinner already waiting. And the boys get loved on, held, played with, fed, and everything, while Thomas and I get to sit down and eat a real meal together. After a few services, Thomas and I were discussing how good it is, as Christians, to have dedicated time to worship besides that on Sunday mornings. If we have opportunities to worship with other Bible-believing Christians, to fellowship with them, to be loved on by others, and to show love to them in return, then we ought to take every chance we get. God has blessed us so much through these believers, and we are so thankful that they have accepted us and shown us such gracious love, even though we are not members there.
  • CLOTHES!!! Several people have brought us bags and bags of clothes, for both adults and babies. It is such a blessing to know that other people are watching out for our needs and interests.
  • God has been so good to send us a few weeks of beautiful outside weather, and Baby Bear appreciates it more than anyone else. That child considers any day NOT spent outside as a total waste. So, beautiful weather to be outside in the sunshine is a blessing that only God can give us.
  • We got to celebrate Baby Bear’s first birthday! He received so many wonderful signs of love, from birthday cards with minion stickers (Thanks S and O!), to a little drum (he loves it, Aunt Mary!), to an wooden tool set (that one was from Thomas and I), to a farm-animal puzzle (he loves to take the pig with him all over the house, Grammie and Grandpa), and a playhouse and baby pool for outside (you’ll love watching him play with the pool, Omi and Colonel). Thomas and I were talking about how small he was when we brought him home, and how many times we thought we would have to say goodbye. And yet, God saw fit in His plan to give us Baby Bear’s first birthday. We couldn’t ask for a better gift: time with our sons. Happy Birthday, Baby Bear!

As I was contemplating these gifts and blessings, and God’s goodness, I realized, yet again, just how true Aristotle’s description of man is: man is a political animal. We need to be in community with others. The word “political” did not have the negative connotations that we usually associate with the word. This word comes from the Greek word “polis”, which means “city”. The ancient Greeks had a different idea of “city” than we do, however. The polis provided the security, prosperity, law, and identity to each individual. Imagine the way individuals will relate to a sports team; people can talk to endless lengths about the strengths, weakness, schedules, leadership, location, training, and education of their favorite team. And if their team wins a game, the whole world turns rosy. Now, imagine that sort of dedication to a city, in a world where most people did not leave their birthplace. So, you grew up with the same people around you, whose ancestors grew up next to your ancestors. So, everyone in the polis knows everyone else in the polis, and it is in everyone’s best interest to protect everyone else. In our eyes, this might seem more similar to the mafia, but we can also think about it as a tribe.

I thought, when I left the midwest to teach in the Southwest, and when I left the Southwest to teach in Texas, that I was constantly leaving my tribe, my polis. In turns out, that my polis is far larger than a location or people group. I’m a member of the City of God, and I can take comfort in knowing that other Christians are looking out for me, just as much as I am looking out for them.

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