This week in church our pastor spoke on Community and how they are there to hold you up in hard times, then I join a Bible study and they talk about the same thing there. Hmmm do you see a theme here? I do and I am working at getting my community together.
But what is community? The dictionary says it is "a group of people living together in one place, esp one practicing common ownership: "a community of nuns". Another definition is all the particular people living in an area or place. I think you could take this further, a church is a community, yet not all of those people live in the same place, a forum online is a community, yet they can be spread through out the world. We speak about the Congenital Heart Disease Community or other such groups since they have a commonality that binds them together.
So if you take a community as a group that has a commonality that binds you together, who is in your community? Who is there that you have something in common with to base a relationship on?
To further a community though, it is not enough to just have a common goal, but to interact and support each other, and this is where it gets messy. When you begin to interact you have to open yourself up, to show the inner you, but you also have to see other people and decide if you can accept them as who they are.
Once interactions start and you open your lives to each other, life will always intervene. Something will happen where you feel that you are alone, that it is time to become a turtle and hide in your shell, that no one can understand what you are going through. This is the time that your community needs to be there, and hopefully there is one person in that community that you can let in, that you can cry in front of, open up your deepest hurt and not be condemned, to be allowed to deal with your emotions and have them stand by you.
As a community, when life hits and someone is drawing away, it is hard to know what to do. Do we stand by and do nothing? Is saying how sorry you are enough? Is just saying "if you need something, let me know" enough? Probably not. Most people when they hit a major bump in the road do not want to let people in. I know that when we lost Robert I did not want to see anyone, I just wanted to be alone. Our care pastor at church showed up at our door unannounced, and it was a blessing to have someone just be there. I learned through that that instead of just saying "let me know", offer to bring a meal on _____day, to pick the kids up from school and take them for dinner, to come do their laundry on ___day, whatever it is make it specific to a time and event (and this also goes for making time to get together, it never works to say call me, instead set up a certain time/date and show the person that you are serious about wanting a relationship, but that is another blog).
So this fall can you work on your community? Can you put yourself out there to truly open up to someone, to be there when life gets in the way?