How We Need to Belong!

Image: Pace Community Church

Image: Pace Community Church

I’m looking out at a water hazard on a golf course. We use to have a pair of swans–the female was killed by a car years ago and the male just a few years back, by an errant golf ball. After that, mallards and wood ducks took over, along with a few egrets that come and go. This last week, a Canadian goose joined the other residents.



Geese mate for life, if I understand it correctly, and travel in flocks. So why is this fellow left behind? (I write fiction, so I’m always coming up with stories underlying things I observe). My guess is, his female fell prey to a coyote and he stayed behind looking for her and missed the boat heading wherever the rest of the flock was heading. May not be true, but it makes for a nice little romantic tragedy for this week when we celebrate Valentine’s day.

So why do I bring this up here, on a Christian blog?

My inquiring mind has always tinkered with the “why’s” behind the surge of neighborhood gangs in many larger cities. I grew up in the Los Angeles area. For years, L.A. has been known as a hotbed of gangs. When I was growing up in the 1950’s, it wasn’t like that. So what’s the difference? There are many but I want to focus on just one–the need to belong, to be accepted and care for in a social community. In my youth that need was fulfilled in two major arenas–the family and the church.

It’s easy to see where this is going, isn’t it? How has our society changed? Most of you are too young to see the stark contrast between the social structures of the 50’s (strong family ties, shared evening meals, large and active church communities) and those of subsequent decades. The dissolution of the family and faith community is no doubt a huge contributing factor in analyzing the rise of gangs. What are we doing, what can we do to provide our children with somewhere to go, someone to love them?

Image: Project No Gangs

Image: Project No Gangs

My observations may be way off base. I’m not a sociologist–only an observer of life. What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, my poor goose is alone now. I don’t know where the ducks took off to. He’s in the middle of the fairway eating seed, and…well, you know what geese do. Hope next time I play golf my ball doesn’t land in it!


One thought on “How We Need to Belong!

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