Over and over, in the past few weeks, I have either been a part of conversations about community or an eaves dropper of a conversation.
When I was little, in my head, I thought a community was a church basement filled with women in skirts, and children running around. Asbestos tiled floors. Fluorescent lighting. I don’t see the men in my mind. I am fairly confident they were around. A buffet displayed by the people. Foil covered dishes filled with different homemade casseroles and delectables.
I was always on the outside looking in. Always. Always. We, as a family, didn’t participate in many events like this. In fact, I don’t remember attending a single event with my family that included the near by community.
I did not participate in sports when I was little or bigger. I did not experience community there. Maybe I was locked in a closet then, but I didn’t know they really existed. Kickball. I remember that. If you are older than 50 and female…. Did you play a sport?
Anywhoooo. I am thinkin’ community is important. I’m guessing that community might be an integral part in the success of this whole plan. Are we suppose to lean on, share, draw from one another? Use each other? Learn from each other? Heal each other? Have fun with each other? Come together for common causes?
For most of my life I have not understood. It is becoming clear. God has a serious plan and it is not just about He and I. Even though, I would really like that. I like my little thing I got goin’ with Him. I forget that the people to the left and the right of me are His also. He loves them too. Oh I get it. I am supposed to include them too. Ah. Darn. Really? How ’bout the guy who believes the opposite of me. Him too, huh? Huh. And the gal down the way there, that looks at me like I’m nuts? Her too? Hmmm.
I am by nature and/or experience somewhat of a loner. I think it is a combination of liking solitude, and lacking experience in community. It never ceases to amaze me how much our little childhood experiences fiercely affect our adult lives.
So, what am I learning about community now that I am more aware of them and my part(or lack there of)? I am learning that I want to be a part .
I am learning that the members have to be actively participating in the community using care, kindness and patience in order for it to be a healthy, vibrant group.
It is extremely easy for me to withdraw from this desire. Because I don’t know how. But I am trying to put my left foot in. Next, I will put my right foot in. Next thing you know, I’ll be shaking all about.
Then helllooooo, Community.
Karen has arrived.
You sure I can’t just join the community of chickens? I love their conversation. They make me laugh out loud. I have to remind myself that people make me laugh too. And that I like being with them.
Or the doggie community?
I can snarf around with the best of them.
I love people. I am just afraid.
P.S. I penned this post last night. This morning we attended Mass in our little church in our cute little village. Fr. Eric, our priest, was giving his last Mass at our church as he moves on to a new parish elsewhere. The sermon was about community. He cried through the homily. We all cried. It was profoundly moving. Our tears tasted of love, togetherness and community.