Family. Friends. Fun. Laughter. Serious conversations. Games. Jokes. Home. Comfort. Sharing. Tea. Knowing people on a deeper level. Listening. Pictures. Teasing.
I can keep adding words, but these are a few that enter my mind when I think about community.
Community. It is something we are all made for. But. The fact that we are made for it, does not mean that we all HAVE it. Just like other things in life, we know it’s good for us, we know we need it, but we sometimes just find ourselves in a place where we are missing out.
About a little more than a year ago my life looked like the picture I started with. Full. Full with community. Full with friends and family. Full with tons and tons of times with joy and laughter, good deep conversations and games. Right now, life feels a little more like this:
Empty. Sure, people do stop by from time to time. And yes I do have an occasional good, deep conversation with someone. But overall, life looks like one big empty room. Where before I had plenty of community, I now lack it almost completely.
Have I stopped liking people? No. Have I locked the door to make sure no one could get in? No, the door is wide open. Have I stopped being a nice and fun person? Nope.
Although I am still me, there is one thing that I have stopped doing. I have stopped reaching out. I do reach out, sometimes. But I have started to really love sitting in my own comfortable home, alone. I have told myself that people hurt and that is why it’s okay to just stay away for a while. But. Not having people in my life certainly hurts more! Friendships are not always fun. But having no one to talk to is worse.
Don’t start crying now. I am okay. I still have friends. It’s just that I have realized that to have real community I need to do more than just being the nice, fun person I am.
I still have my family. I have some really great friends, who happen to not live next door..
But, if I want to have real community, right here. If I want that living-room to be filled with people and joy and laughter, I have to make sure those same people know where to find me. I have to reach out first. I have to go and make sure I meet new people, in order for them to know my address.
If you want to have a friend, you have to BE a friend first.
For me this time that I am in now, means that I will mostly lack community. There is a time for everything. And so I know that God has chosen this time. For just Him and me. Mostly. But when I miss real community. Whenever I notice how much I crave it. I realize. I am not the only one. And therefore, I would like to say, if this is not a time for just you and God, but you are still missing out on community. There is nothing wrong with you. What’s wrong is that people haven’t gotten a chance to meet you. They don’t know where to find you.
And it’s not just you who is missing out. It’s them too. For, how great would it be to meet you and to really get to know you. Don’t let them miss out anymore. It will be scary maybe, but do take the step and find community. You are made for it!
*I have learned that you can travel the world and visit every great place, but it will be empty and worth nothing if you don’t meet people and know their hearts.
It’s people’s hearts that are actually the greatest places on this earth.