Is community possible?
I think I hope for too much when it comes to community. What I long for is a small group of people who I can live life with. Here’s what I mean by that.
People who are woven into the fabric of my life (and by my I mean my family), and I/we are woven into theirs. My dream is to live near these people (walking distance), minister together with them (probably means being connected to the same church but certainly goes beyond that), have consistent times where we’re together (having dinner at each others’ home weekly or something), and do spontaneous stuff (go to the park, watch a game, babysit, whatever).
I would love to be a part of a group that can laugh and cry together, challenge and encourage each other out of love, sacrifice for each other, and even be together without needing to fill the space with something.
I don’t care too much about ages of the people that would be a part of the community. It would be nice to have some other parents with children about the age of ours, but I think it would be good to have some people of different ages and single people too. In a community like that you could seek to understand each other regardless of the differences.
I’d also want it to be a group of people who care about similar things. People who want to be a blessing to their neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and cities. People who are devoted to following Jesus and help each other along that path. People who aren’t exclusive, but are open to interacting with anyone and being hospitable. People who like to have a good time playing and who like having conversations of meaning.
In a sense I think what I long for is authentic, deep Christian community. The kind of bonds with people that can only be forged in the context of a family based in Jesus. People bound by ties of love from Christ for the benefit of each other and the whole world.
When I said at the beginning that I want too much out of community, I wasn’t being facetious. I seriously wonder if my longing for what I’ve written keeps me from fully enjoying and appreciating some of the relationships I do have. In a number of my relationships I have pieces of these things, and that’s certainly better than having none of it. At the same time, this is such a strong desire of mine that I don’t want to give up on it. I know it is something Michelle desires as well and it’s something I want for my kids. Our culture isn’t set up for it. Our desire for privacy doesn’t open most of us to it. But I still hope it can happen.