Yesterday, I was reading R.G. Maines’s Medicare “Shut-In” The story can be found at her blog site: Chirpings From The Nest. I have to sympathize with the author’s struggle with getting a power wheelchair. It seems Medicare has a preconceived notion that a quality of life equals getting around in one’s own home. It seems to have escaped their notice that one’s life is more than just their house or apartment. It is also important that one is able to be interact in a community. As I read of her struggles, I am quietly thankful for my own community of friends and family. As it happens, the author seems to share a similar view.
A “shut-in” lifestyle is never a good thing. It means having to deal with strong feelings of loneliness, depression and isolation. I know, as I’ve struggled with those very feelings, for years. How did this come about? I had moved out to Phoenix, AZ, after graduating from college. The city of Phoenix is quite beautiful. I, soon learned that it is also one of the most friendliest to blind community. I am referring to how easy it is to get around the main city. As I can’t drive, this is good news for me. For about eleven years, I managed to live independently with the help of cabs and buses. There was essentially no place I couldn’t go. Sadly, there was something missing. With poetic irony, I was blind to what it was.
I needed to do more then just attend a church and it wasn’t just go to work. I had to be a part of a community of friends and family. It was not until Pastor Mark Aulson had made the following comment to me. “Barry, you need to plant yourself in a good church. You need to be nourished by that church and they need to be nourished by you.” Mark is quite right. I did need to do just that. It went a long way in helping in the healing process. It helped in giving me, a sense of purpose.
As I said earlier, I do understand where R. G. Maines was coming from. It really isn’t good for a man to be alone. We all need to be a part of a community and to feel like an active part of it. It is why I’m thankful for my community of friends at Shore Vineyard Church and members of my family.