Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Thought on Community

My family that still lives here in Erie talks frequently about the idea of community. I know this is certainly not a new idea to most of you reading this. I long for a community to be established here. I long for my church family to be truly bonded together as a family. I long to feel a part of a group and for each member of this group to care for the other members. I long for an openness with my siblings in the church that goes far beyond the polite greeting on Sunday morning. I ache for it.

This week was a tough week for me. My family was sick, Joshua has been dealing with job pressures and I’ve been exhausted. On Thursday morning I called my father because I simply couldn’t do this on my own anymore. He came over and helped me clean and watched the kids so I could take a shower. His help was the thing that kept me sane that day. He is my community.

So I’ve realized through that experience that if this is what I want, if building a community is something I am willing to work for, I need to be willing to do my part. I need to be willing to ask for help. I need to toss aside my silly pride and tell other people that I can’t do this alone. I need to become a burden to someone else so that they know that when it’s their turn to be a burden I will carry them. It sounds strange, I know, but it sounds true.

I pray that God would grant each of us the weakness and humility that we need so that we can rely on each other the way He intended us to.

5 comments:

james3v1 said...

Adiel:

I don't know how many people read your blog. I really like it though. Of all the Ben-Ezras (and I know you're not one anymore) I felt the most special bond to you.

What happened with your dad worked because he was there. I think most people long for community like you're talking about but they're not willing to consider that it means giving up on their "dream house" to move into a neighborhood that other people who long for community can afford.

For community to work, we have to be with one another. To be with one another as often as we really need to (and yes I mean the word need--we're lacking this) we need to live near enough to one another that we can help when it's needed without a second thought. If "oh but he/she lives so far away" has to enter in to the equation before "he/she needs me right now" does then I don't believe we'll see much change.

I will pray that God will raise up in Erie (perhaps Lawrence Park?) a community like we believe He is raising up here.

Anonymous said...

very well said. Numer

Adiel said...

James,
Thanks for your comment. I do think we need to be living closer to each other for this type of community to work. There are so many various mindsets that need to be changed in the church at large before that could be a possibility here. And you’re right in saying that some people would have to “downsize” to a neighborhood more affordable for others. After I read that I started wondering about my own heart and how much I’d be willing to give up to make this community a reality. This is a tough thing and something that I’m going to be praying about. If I am going to be able to contribute to my church family I need to be a lot more willing to give of myself than I am now.

Fritz The Grand said...

My two cents:

It really doesn't matter where you live. If Dad lived 15 minutes away from you, do you really think that he would not have come over and helped out?

I did enjoy living close to Tom and Elizabeth, but they were such helping people that they drove out to Girard to help me when my alternator died. And my willingness to help Tom with his fence was in no way influence by the fact that we lived 3 minutes from each other.

A willingness to help is of greater import than proximity.

So, no, you will never convince me to move back into a city James!! :)

Adiel said...

Fritz,
Very good point, but consider the fact that I don't have access to a car during the day. I can accept help from others who have a car, but I can't as easily give help. And it can get rather frusterating at times when I feel marooned at home.