The first morning I saw the white-haired couple on the Riverwalk, I nearly stared. Not because of their hair color, but because of their unified presence.
The woman wore a thin clear tube around her head from her nose to a portable oxygen canister. Her male companion wore the canister.
He also held the woman’s hand, walking in step with her so the hose was never stretched or crimped. In his other hand he held a red-tipped white cane.
He was blind.
They strode along together as if they were forty years younger and in perfect health.
The woman did the seeing, the man did the breathing, in a sense. I suppose she could have carried her own oxygen supply and he could have tapped his cane from side to side.
But they chose to be utterly dependent upon each other and were, therefore, more confident—a picture of what dependence can mean, how two can be stronger than one.
When Jesus sent out his disciples, He sent them by twos (Mark 6:7). The wise author of Ecclesiastes said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor” (Eccl. 4:9 NKJV).
I doubt that the couple on the Riverwalk would argue.
Every year on July 4th I celebrate our nation’s independence and thank God for freedom, particularly freedom from sin and death. But the words of my former pastor Mark Pitcher resound in my heart. We are a dependent people, he says. Dependent upon God and dependent upon each other as the body of Christ. We need each other in community.