Pondering Community

Nine months ago, we moved into our home.  Eight months and three weeks ago, I said, “Hey, let’s invite our neighbors over for supper.”  And yesterday, we finally invited them.

Yes, I am the queen of procrastination, but eight months and three weeks to accomplish something so simple and practical is just absurd.  And it got me thinking…why DO we avoid community??  Is it because it’s so much work?  Is it because it could be an epic fail and we may never recover from two hours of excruciating conversation?  Are we afraid there will be upkeep involved…that we might have to start inviting them over regularly if we invite them over once?

Earlier this evening, while I was making supper (like I do every night) and tidying the house (like I do every night), I thought, Why in the world did we wait nine months to do this??  It was a meal…that we would have eaten anyways; why NOT share it with the 98 year old widow and her elderly son next door??  Or why NOT invite the jobless, pothead neighborhood 20-somethings over for a game night?  Isn’t this exactly how Jesus asked us to love others?  And yet, we avoid it because it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Guess what.  Our meal this evening?  It was awkward.  We were searching for conversation. We shouted everything we said so we could be heard by sweet ears that have been listening to the world for nearly a century.  But more than the uncomfortable silences or the shouting voices, I got to see my little boys bringing our guest their favorite things and telling her all about them.  I got to crush on my man as he carefully helped her back home.  And he got to hear these beautiful words from her son: “Thank you. She has been looking forward to this all day.”

Just like that, in one fell swoop, we were all blessed like crazy.

This morning, I wrote myself this note as I pondered true community:

What does community look like?

  • Being intentional
  • Seeking out relationships~ not just those we have commonalities with, but also those who don’t have community.
  • What would it look like if EACH of us sought to be intentional about community in our neighborhoods?

Let’s find out, friends.

xo.

jo

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Johanna,

    I am always moved by your thoughtful insight, and your practical, courageous style! Thank you for being so generous and real with your heart, mind and soul. I am always blessed and convicted by what your share. And no doubt your little ones (and you and Matt) made a tremendous impact in the life of your neighbor. Love and laughter are such a beacon of light and we are all so removed from each other. The loneliness is unbearable. Community in God is everything and it meant to always be expanding into the darkness.. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Yay Jo! Way to embrace uncomfortable things and to find beauty. 🙂 This makes me want to do things like that, that I hide from.

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