COMMUNITY

54730098_10218592822756772_3689364288650084352_o Awakened_arts 

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

I had started a very basic purple painted canvas on the first day of spring.
I asked my social media friends, to share what color they wanted on the picture, fully intending to see who matched what was on my mind for the painting. The interesting thing, everyone had a different idea for the secondary color than mine. As I stood and stared at the purple canvas, deciding which color I would pick, the name of the piece came to me, “Community”. 

This painting wasn’t about one or two solid ideas, but about combining the creativity of many into something of beauty. I took each color that my friends had suggested and I thought of them and prayed as I painted their color. I sought where the Lord would have them impact the piece and prayed for individual situations. A few friends had chosen teal, it didn’t matter, as I applied the color again, a new friend came to mind. Another, shared her idea for the technique to add dimension and direction. This was a wonderful example of community, each contributing, every individual uniqueness adding a new depth and detail as we collaborated. 

This piece alone reminded me of how important it is to be in community with one another. I could have said, ew I don’t like that color, it would never look right, but looking at this painting, it needed every single color whether at first, I thought it would belong or not. As I looked at the painting with each layer I was timid to place more colors, yet a sense of belonging came over me as I saw the work coming together. 

You would not know that two years ago, I had my self hidden away, shying away from the world, from being hurt, from being ignored and passed over. I had a horrible sense of my self. I had lost the knowledge of my worth somewhere on the journey of surviving grief and illness that had reared its ugly head like never before and the depression wanted to take over. In the past, I was swallowed by that depression. I cut everyone and everything off and literally wanted to die.

The amazing thing, this time, depression could not stay! While I started blocking people out of my life, there were the solid, the community that would not let me. There were the people who reminded me of who I am. There were the people that pointed out when I was being flat-out ridiculous and that I needed to stop identifying with what I was facing and start identifying on who God says I am. It was my community that picked me up and reminded me how much ground I have gained and even in this hiccup, it was safe to spread my wings and fly again. 

Community: A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Romans 12:5-
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Do I always agree with everything they do? No. Do I enjoy every single personality within my community at every moment? No.  Do I share every single belief and value? No. 

Do I drive people in my community crazy at times? Ah, YAH! 

However, when in the community, despite our human differences we can choose to stay united with a common goal. Intentional to build together, to hold one another up by carrying each other’s burdens and remind each other there is hope in a sea of unknowns.

When the going gets tough, we can be tempted to run from our communities, but all that brings is isolation and loneliness, which in turn becomes bitterness and anger. I think this is why the Lord mentions not forsaking the gathering of our brethren. He knew that we needed far more than to hear our own voice whisper silently to the wind. 

Hebrews 10: 24-25-
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

 

Hello ?

On my most recent visit to the in-laws; the boys and Dan were teaching the parents how to use the newest phone technology. It amazes me how quickly the younger generations pick up on all that you can do. It was during the discovery of the phones and their capabilities that Dan conference called his dad, mom, and our three sons.

I sat watching as the five were sitting in the same room and talking to one another on their phones, all five saying “hello?”. I was laughing at the silliness of it all when a thought occurred to me during this exchange.

They were laughing and enjoying being ‘connected’ to one another.

There is such joy in being connected to people. I personally know how easy it is to hermit away. I have been hurt and it is so much simpler in my own mind to hide away and not allow myself to be hurt or let down again. But then the moments of joy are never experienced when I allow myself to do this. There is such joy in laughing with a good friend, sharing together, praying together and being a support system to one another.

God can be our all, and meet all our needs, and one way he does this is by supplying us with companionship. Man was not meant to be an island all alone. Community is a very important part of living in joy.

One suggestion I do make from my life experiences; make sure the people you are giving your energy into are also supplying you with their energy as well. Unless God calls you to be light into a specific life your friendships should not be only one direction. When you find a friend that puts into your life as much as they take, hold on to them, feed that friendship and stay connected!

My friends, do not forsake fellowship with one another. Do not be a hermit and try to take everything on your own shoulders without the experience of letting another person share your load.

Stretch out of your comfort zone and be a good friend. It is very true that you will reap what you sow. If you sow into lives you will reap great rewards!

Today’s challenge : Be a good friend; send an encouraging note, make a phone call or share your heart with someone you can trust. Do not be a hermit.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.

(NIV)