Sunday, January 10, 2010

Confronting Community

I've been finding myself struggling against the idea of community as of late and I don't know why. I'm sure part of it stems from past experiences, areas where I've felt hurt and exposed and those are surely understandable. The other side, I'm sure, stems from those other areas where I still struggle with petty insecurities and personal failures too. Again, understandable. Yet, are they understandable? Is it fair?

It's not as though I'm shunning the idea of community; rather, I long for it. Our recent experiences in our home alone remind me of how much I love and care being a part of something that's bigger than ourselves as we've had friends and family galore over for get togethers, reunions, and celebrations. Being a part of those experiences has been wonderful, seamless, and encouraging.

But the area where I'm finding myself struggling yet again is in the area of church. And it's an ironic struggle because I really like the church that we've found. It's a wonderful, open, encouraging, intelligent, and forward-thinking and moving group of people that really have a heart for God and others. But still I struggle. And why? I'm just not sure. I'm not sure if I'm petrified that my gifts have been tainted by missuse or by complacency or if I'm just simply scared of being hurt again. I just don't know...

Yet, I know that this is a hurdle that I've got to overcome. For my family, for my kids, for my Lord. I've got to overcome this.

I wish I could return to the ways of childhood, when community came so simply. I was reminded of how simply this past couple of weeks as my son stayed with my parents during the days that we had to work during his Christmas break. Some other kids next door to my folks were off and, each and every day, those kids, as though drawn together by some internal magnet, found Tyler and the group spent those days playing until I arrived and even after. And what did they have in common? They were kids out of school, essentially. That's it. And they became the best of friends for those days, vanquishing the forces of darkness with sticks and play swords, defeating the hordes of evil with Nerf guns and pretend grenades.

And yet I struggle with fully fusing myself into community as part of the body of Christ, with whom I have that much more in common. And why? I'm not sure...