Friday, August 12, 2011

Community

When Ryan and I moved to Minneapolis three years ago, we had no idea how important it would become to be part of a community of people who live near us and love Jesus a whole lot.

I have been part of many faith communities before, but I have never experienced living so closely in community with those people. We know multiple families who live within 10 blocks of us....and many more who live within a mile or two of our home.

And that has made an incredible impact on our lives and how we live on a weekly basis.

My friend and pastor asked me this summer what difference it makes that I live in the city, in the community where we go to church and where we serve people.

In thinking about that question yesterday, I got tears in my eyes.

Here's how I would answer him today:

This is what it means to me to live in community...

A friend stopped by and worked on our front door for us this summer. He fixed a broken piece, put on a new screen and changed some hardware. Every time I use my front door I am so thankful for his handiness and willingness to help us.

A friend brought us groceries this week when Samuel came down with a 102 fever. Ryan has been in Belize on a Mission's Trip all week and we were out of milk and eggs and bananas. That act of service was a big gift to me.

A friend offered to watch Samuel and Lauren one morning this week while Ryan is in Belize so that I can get a break and run some errands. She's a mom and understands how grateful I am for that offer. 

Our community brings meals to each other and invites one another over for dinner. We stop at one another's homes when we go for walks and bike rides.

Our kids know and love each other's kids because we see them weekly and even sometimes daily.

We share in life together - park nights, play dates, parades, ice cream, walks, and so much more.

We care. We pray. We are intentional. We serve. We love. We listen.

We are community.

And we learn from one another what it means to love each other in the name of Jesus. I learn by how others have loved me. And I am inspired to love others in the name in the Jesus because I have been so loved.

Sometimes it's in big and amazing ways. Other times it is so small...but incredibly impactful to our hearts and minds and lives.

Due to living in the city, we have an older home with a one-car garage and tiny closets. But I wouldn't trade living in close community for big closets and a three-car garage.

Because big closets haven't changed my life or how I love Jesus or how I have experienced His love. But community has changed us. Community has changed our marriage. Our family. And the way we love Jesus.

And I would have it no other way.

3 comments:

cybil said...

Beautiful!!!

WoRds/WoNDer said...

thank you for sharing this. i think we sometimes choose where to live too easily based on convenience and "safety" instead of inquiring where God could be at work. when has the work of God ever been about "convenience" and "safety"? service. sacrifice. love. :)

Karissa Binder said...

Hard to say which of these I like best. I think all of them. You are such a talented writer! Thanks for sharing....you brought tears to my eyes too.