A few weeks ago a couple of friends suggested we take our kiddos (13 to be exact) camping for a night. Sometimes, actually often times, the wind up and let down of such events don't quite seem worth it when you're elbows deep in getting everything together...and then there's that moment when cell phones don't work, when distractions are gone and all that's left is the beauty of the outdoors and the company of those around you. And then you breathe in and sigh a huge exhale of something that doesn't come around often...contentment. I was feeling the beauty of community so strongly. So much that I broke out my big camera instead of relying on my phone to capture it. When I got home and saw the images I just felt so strongly that these are pictures of community. Children draped on people who aren't their parents, watchful eyes, playful parents, distraction free, tweens cooking breakfast and that sense of everyone pitching in. And it felt so dang good. Real, raw conversations took place and children were let loose to discover and dream and I thought, why don't I get here more often? Why don't I make the effort to arrive at this simple place more often?
In many of my conversations with dear friends lately, the main theme between them all is the longing for community. I realize how very special it is to have it and I feel very grateful that we are surrounded by the kind people we are surrounded with, but I also realize that community is also allowing yourself to be loved and lifted and cared for, and returning and doing the same. I think it is just as much asking and allowing as giving.
I wrote this for myself and for anyone else who has that longing for more.
Also, our pastor has been preaching on community the past few weeks and how we were created for it. If you have the time, I very much encourage you to listen.