I think overall, we live in a society that loves the word community a little too much sometimes. We overuse this word because we love collaboration and a possible oneness attained in that. We love support and the idea of something bigger than ourselves. I think as a culture we are doing a great job as fans of community, but as we all know, while a fan is in agreement with the ideals promoted, he is only on the sidelines. They are protected from the blood, sweat, and tears. They have not gone through an entire week of struggle and challenge to prepare. A fan is only joyfully proclaiming the greatness of something they have such a little knowledge of. Today I was taught to “get in the game” of community, but differently than any truly athletic venture I’ve ever experienced, I didn’t leave this one exhausted or having exerted too much of myself. Instead, I left today’s battle for community full of sweet lessons from my precious Savior.
Today community didn’t look like a cute party or a big group hug. Today, community looked like hard work. Today, creating community included handling conflict, advocating the unpopular opinion, putting homework on the back burner to care for struggling and emotional spirits, and even just now waiting to ponder these thoughts to help someone with Spanish homework. While before today I would have so encouraged everyone to be a part of community like the one I experience, today I learned that I had no clue what community truly meant. For it is not this almost Utopian idea of perfect unity; It is messy situations in a close proximity that are covered in enough love and grace to work to attain a resolution. It is speaking truth into the searching even when it’s not their favorite thing to hear at the moment. It is being humble, and being humble enough to be authentic. For our love and it’s maturity is not gauged Biblically by the amount of time we spend together, the amount of difficulty we endure, or other factors we cannot completely control. Biblically, a love has matured or progressed when people are serving each other. As we serve, we look more and more like Christ. The more we all resemble Christ, we look like one body. We come together with oneness. We define community.