Community…it’s a word that gets thrown around quite often. Our culture (especially within the church) talks about how important it is to be a part of a community. Last month, I was working at a conference and watched as these creatives were drawn to each other. Friendships and collaborations quickly formed as they helped each other get to the next level.
During this time, I also was able to hang out with one of my oldest friends. Throughout our lives, we’ve gotten in each other’s face when one has gotten off track and encouraged each other to stay on the paths we were made for. Our adult lives have been lived across the country from each other. Phone calls, email, texts, and Facebook have been our lifelines. We realized though, that the distance makes it easy to cover up when things might not be going so well. To only share when and what we want. That there is definitely a difference when we are face to face.
It got me thinking about what real community is. My closest friends really are my oldest friends, but I am horrible about just living life and not thinking it’s important to let them into the day-to day stuff. And to choose when I’m vulnerable and what I’m vulnerable about.
I came home and started reading Anne Miller’s book, Lean on Me, and she talks about how true community happens when you are vulnerable and intentional. I realized that I’ve been so bad in both of these areas for way too long, and then I wonder how come I don’t feel as close to people as I would like to. That needs to change, and I am the one who needs to start with making the change.
To be close to the people in your life, you need to start by being honest with who you are and where you are. When you do those things, the right people will be drawn to you. This is not something to fear, but to embrace. God has created us to be in relationship…not just with Him, but with each other. It’s what makes our life on this earth whole.