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Sit with Community

"When we present ourselves to the world as smooth and seamless, we allow each other no way in, no way into life together. But as we acknowledge and affirm that the cross is the shape of our lives, we open a space within us where community can occur. And in that empty space, in

that solitude at the center of the cross, the One who created us whole makes us whole again."


The Promise of Paradox by

Parker Palmer

 

What Does community mean to you? Have you had a profound experience of community? A community can be small or large. It can be made up of family, friends, church groups, or acquaintances with common interests. You can be part of one community or many. Maybe there are communities you remember fondly from your past. And maybe, just maybe, you are longing for a community right now.


I've encountered all of these examples, but my most profound community experience came in college when I was a part of the student group at St. Michaels church in Auburn, AL. In some ways, it felt like the island of misfits, but everyone was there with the common purpose of finding belonging on a large college campus and not just belong to one another but belonging to Christ as well. This community

was the embodiment of Christ's love, "we are many parts but are all one body." We were open and vulnerable with one another, and the masks college students typically wear were removed. It was a beautiful collection of very different people coming together to connect and make each other whole.


The following is a lovely quote, along with the cross pictured above, which was given to my husband and me 30 years ago as a wedding gift from our dear friend Sister Sharon.


When I think about the people with whom I have the deepest sense of community, I think of people who have been able to share their contradictions, their brokenness - thus allowing me to share mine. When we present ourselves to the world as smooth and seamless, we allow each other no way in, no way into life together. But as we acknowledge and affirm that the cross is the shape of our lives, we open a space within us where community can occur. And in that empty space, in

that solitude at the center of the cross, the One who created us whole makes us whole again, And that is reason for affirmation, cause for joy!


The Promise of Paradox by Parker Palmer


I believe we are made whole by our shared brokenness within the safe space of community. I am deeply grateful for the communities that have shaped my life:

  • Growing Up; My Mother's Prayer Group

  • Young Life

  • Biz, Shannon, Sheila (Childhood Friends)

  • St. Michael's Student Group

  • Women In The Word

  • Christian Mother's Group

  • The Chapman's, Obrien's, and Crum's

  • My Family of Five ❤️

  • Tim and Kelley

  • 90 Day Direction Ladies

  • Hope Writers

  • Peace Seekers

  • Survivors To Thrivers

  • Auburn

What communities have shaped your life? Take time to make a list of these communities and give thanks and praise!


And if you find yourself seeking community. Go. They are all around. Even online. Don't give up searching. I love this Ted Talk given by Jonny Sun about community; You're Not Alone in Your

Loneliness. Social media can get a bad wrap, but Sun's depiction of social media and how it can create community is on point. The past year and a half during Covid, I made new friends via online communities and Instagram. Crazy. I would never have imagined it, but it opened up a new space where community occurred. I am so grateful.


As you venture out into the post-covid world, embrace the communities you haven't connected with in person and keep in touch with new online friends you may have made!


Blessings as you sit with community, new and old!


Walking the Journey with You!

Megan


If you would like to join me in a year of sitting, subscribe below. I will feature one of the following topics in my monthly posts and suggest ways to sit with them: God, Family, Yourself, Community, The Present Moment, Writing, Creating, Moderation, Gratitude, Joy, and Love.


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