Man – this week’s been tough. I’m tired – exhausted from conversations. Ever felt that way?
Listening to Patty Griffin at the moment to calm my heart, but energize my spirit – she’s great for doing that all at the same time.
I was asked this week “Where do you find community?” Being a part of a community is hard. It hurts at times. Community is the best and worst part of life depending on how you go about honoring and contributing to that community. I desire community, I long for it really. We all need it. Whether we like admitting that we need something/someone or not, community is crucial to our existence. (Even on The Bachelor, they need community…I don’t know how I know that. Disregard.) Over the years, the community that I was a part of, depending on the time of life, contributed to who I became as a person. Good and bad.
I have several different communities that I am a part of right now – and in each of these, I’m finding a need for something more, as are others in these communities. Some of these desires align and some are confusing, and others just aren’t lining up at all. And in these moments, confrontation over these differences arises.
I hate confrontation. Really, truly. Makes me splotchy, and hot, and my heart pounds, and I can’t eat, and my words get all jumbled. And I lose my train of thought, and usually don’t get the words out that I’d planned to in the quiet and calm atmosphere while getting ready that morning. Interestingly enough, being a part of the body of Christ, there are many different parts and each of these parts (people) have many different convictions and dreams and goals and insights. This is what makes community so exciting! This is also what can make community so tumultuous and off-putting at times.
My prayer being that in these moments of confrontation, reconciliation is able to come in due time and restore. (I’m not sure what “due time” is and I’m pretty sure I take that into my own hands a lot more than I ought, but either ways it’s up to the Lord and under his control.)
Reconcile: to restore to friendship or harmony; another definition: to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant
A lot of times, that 2nd definition has to happen in order for the harmony to be restored. The “unpleasant” part could be the differing opinions or hurt feelings or harsh truths, but in order to move into reconciliation, those things are accepted or submitted to depending on the circumstance.
To offer some biblical perspective, 2 Corinthians 5:15-19 from The Message (emphasis mine):
One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.
Be well. Be in community. Be ready for moments of confrontation. Be in anticipation of new life and restoration.