By: Maggie Leonard
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Reflection—v. 3, Don’t eat from it, and don’t touch it
‘You aren’t to be friends with folks—not with other interns, not with me, not with our community members.’ That’s what I tell my interns. I know, it sounds harsh. It’s not a popular sentiment, especially coming from a supervisor whose job is to love people and facilitate community. Truth be told, I was super resistant to the directive when it was given to me at my first job. However, I’ve found the boundary to be really liberating and has offered me a lot of sanity. Boundaries are really hard for many of us to engage—maybe even most difficult for those of us who find much of our identity in helping others or who are passionate about our work. But not having boundaries is exhausting. Boundaries help us to remember where one person’s responsibility begins and where our responsibility ends. Having boundaries between work and personal time (and relationships) allows us to develop a fuller sense of self—practice engaging other topics of discussion, develop diverse relationships, gain a wider perspective (talking to my engineering, journalist, public health, and programmer friends always brings about a different view of the world), and explore new hobbies. This Lent, let us consider both how we will engage others and how we will allow them to engage us in such a way that we both might be healthier.
Prayer God of all the peoples, help me create space in my life to appreciate the diversity of life that you offer.