7/29/10

Have you found community?


When we were in GR last week, we visited Brian and Jenna on the farm. It was so refreshing to be around animals and plants seemingly wild and exuding life. Chasing chickens, making a meal from freshly picked herbs and vegetables, sharing real conversation, exploring nature through the eyes of children. Even in the midst of sorrow for a lost animal, life was loudly and unavoidably making itself known.

In catching up, Brian turn to me and asked, "So, have you found community where you are?"

I felt like my heart stopped. Suddenly, I was reminded of my passionate search for intentional community-- living together, sharing, eating together, living simply and imitating the early church so that we might bring some small piece of heaven to earth. In an instant, my heart mourned and ached for a dream forgotten.

"No."

As I dismissed the question, our conversation moved along passing this painful moment by, but all week long it repeated in my mind, even in my dreams.

Coming home was bittersweet. I knew I would miss my friends in GR. I knew that even as Sam and I purchased our tickets to fly there months ago. But coming home filled me with a silent joy simultaneously. I missed talking to my mom on the phone every day. I missed watching my sister illustrate at the Bipartisan Cafe. I missed the creativity of my friend Rebekah and her husband, Nathan, the quiet observer. I missed my cousins-in-law/neighbors and their new bundle of hope, Benjamin.

Sam shared with me something that Rick Beerhorst shared with he and Rich when they were out fishing on the lake Monday evening. In regards to the awkwardness of trying to find community in the people you see at "church" every week, he said that this is so difficult because it consists of many people coming from foreign situations and lives trying to come together and be a family each week. Really, true community is in the guy who makes your coffee every week and the people you stay up late with laughing at youtube videos. The people you can say "I'm feeling annoyed right now" to and they still love you (and like you).

I realized something tonight after a celebratory dinner for Nathan's birthday with my mom, dad, sister, Josh, Rebekah, Nathan, Sam, Salem, and I.

My answer should have been "yes."

These people are my community. They are the relationships that keep my soul breathing. How could I be so blind? What reason do I have to mourn? I have been richly blessed with community. All I can think to say is that things don't always look the way you imagine them... sometimes they are even more beautiful.






5 comments:

  1. Very well said, Rae. thanks for sharing this ray of wisdom.

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  2. I love you so much. You totally made me cry. :)

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  3. Hi Rae,

    Very good point made, indeed. I love your heart on things like this and I so wish we could all have more time together, I think we're more on the same page than not... just on the surface things seem different.. diversity in the body should be celebrated... ok random I know - just wanted to say I agree and we know you guys by the love you show :)

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  4. You found your Grand Rapids in Portland.

    God revealed an amazing kernel of wisdom to you. Grow from what he gave you, before you know it, after reaching out, you'll have so much community that you'll have to leave a strange voicemail announcement and turn your phone off for extended periods of time :)

    I miss you but Portland needs you. Thank you for being my friend. I am truly blessed by your friendship, even though my heart breaks at our distance, I am beyond happy to see you blossom where you're planted.

    Friends for eternity? I think so.

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  5. You are so right, Amy. I had another realization last night on our way home. I was thinking how strange it is that God would give me such a good friend so far away and then it hit me... it's strange to me in terms of this earth, but not to God because he thinks in terms of his kingdom, in which the distance is irrelevant. So, yes. Friends for eternity.

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