In fact, there are people in this church—I'm looking at some of them—who don't know they are leaders yet. Maybe they think they are too young or too busy or don't know enough Bible. "I'm not a Moses," they'll tell me. And I'll say, "Good, because God doesn't need Moses. God needs you." So every time you start to worry that you're not enough, that you can't do it or that you don't have it, remember what Rabbi Susya said toward the end of his life: "God will not ask me why I was not Moses. God will ask me why I was not Susya." [story told by Martin Buber]
You might say that Ruby is strong and independent, and that would be true. But as a spiritual redwood, she has always been interconnected, too. Consider this: Have you ever seen a redwood growing all by itself? Redwood trees need each other or they would fall over. That's because they have no taproot. Their roots are shallow and grow laterally. But as they grow, they intermingle with the root systems of other trees to form a strong foundation for the whole grove. I think that's a wonderful metaphor for Christian community, and no one practices it quite like Ruby. She knows that you can't be a Christian all by yourself. You can't learn how to love others if you have no others to love. For her, the church has always been her big extended family. And how firm a foundation!
Do you ever look at your family of origin or your in-laws and have similar thoughts? Are you ever tempted to build yourself an ark, call down the wrath of God and sweep all those relations away? The problem with that approach is that it doesn't really solve the problem, does it? Noah and his family survived the flood only to start the cycle of sin all over again. Something needs to change, and it isn't crazy Aunt Lucy.