Living In Community

January 13, 2011

I’ve heard it said many times in church and in Christian circles that we humans were created to live in community with one another. Inherent in the very fabric of our souls is a need to share our life with others. That’s why God created Eve for Adam, because He saw that it was not good for man to live alone.

Living in community is a great and glorious thing, yet it can also be messy. Living life with other people means that you are exposed to their faults, sins and trials just as you are also exposed to their successes, joys and strengths. In times of abundance, it’s fun spending time with your community, delighting in one another’s experiences. And it’s in the seasons of trials and despair that the strength of one’s community is tested.

Seeing a member of your community, someone you love, grapple with loss and pain is hard. It’s different from watching a coworker or acquaintance or casual friend go through it. This person is living life with you, and in a sense they are very much apart of who you are and who you will become. As they hurt, you hurt. As the weep and mourn, so do you. If you’re not used to living in such community, such emotions can be jarring. How can the pain of another person feel so real to you? How is it that you find yourself on the verge of tears when you are not the one who lost or is in pain?

The more I think about this occurrence in human interaction, the more beautiful I think it is. It’s a big world out there and I like knowing that when trials come my way I have a community to fall back on.

Right now a member of my community is hurting. I’ve wept and prayed for my dear friend so many times in the past week that I am amazed. You see, I’m not a big crier especially not when it comes to other people’s hurts and pains. But this, I am learning, is different. This isn’t just anybody who’s hurting, this is a member of my community, my sister and brother who are hurting and that cuts deeper in my soul than I ever imagined.

And you know what, I’m not the only one. The other members of our community are experiencing the same emotions I am as we try to stand together in support of our friends. Together we are stronger and our prayers are louder. As a community we will weather this storm.

And so here we are, learning what living lives together in community is all about. And even though right now it’s messy, it hurts and causes me to mess up my make up due to tears, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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One Response to “Living In Community”

  1. missy said

    great thoughts and post. all so true. love you

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