Last week at PEG, we talked about dreams... and it has taken me this long to write out a response to the topic (which i loved)... and here is what i wrote:
Thomas and I have been married for coming on 9 years. And in this time we have done much work and “studies” in community. For years in Christian circles this has been a catch-phrase: building community, having a “safe” community, being a part of community and so forth. I have said it before to many, many people; I am so SICK of talking about community.
My dream has always been to be a part of community. Meaning, we truly know each other. That we are honest and supportive of each other, no matter what. That we can always call on one another, good or bad. That we share possessions and love and our homes with each other. In my dream “community” each of us could show up unannounced and be welcomed into each others homes. That we accept whatever state that house is in and enjoy each other. That if we see a need, we don’t talk about what we can do to fill it, we just fill it. I know it is very radical thinking in many churches, where they like the safety of organized get-togethers and assistance, but I do truly believe that is what Jesus meant by love each other…
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'…”
For me, when we moved back to Kingston, I was hoping that I would be done talking about it and live it. We got off to a difficult start. Not feeling like our “home church” was where God wanted us to be, we migrated to Next and had some difficulties fitting in, in the beginning. I have a wonderful understanding of what “community” should and could be, and have wanted to live it out, and have TRIED to live it out. But I never dreamed I would be the object of such immense community. I have found deeper friendships, more meaningful “sermons” than I imagined. I have prayed that my children would live not only in what a community should be, but it would become their family as well.
Peggers, Nexters and Rustlers are my extended family. You have all come into my life and have fed us on many levels, given me (us) a drink for a parched soul, you invited me in, and have clothed me (not only in my clothing, but blanketed me with love). On top of all that, you have accepted wherever I have been in my life, including the chaos, and have helped tamed it. And you have been there to celebrate all of our joys too! And I want to do the same for all of you, and I hope I have done the same for all of you!
I dreamed of and prayed for community. True to Jesus’ love and the “first church”… and God has answered my prayers with you! With all of us uniting to do what He has called us to… and I am so grateful that I am apart of it. Even when it is hard to be humble and accept people doing my laundry, or bringing me food, or helping me clean…I do love that I have a dream come true. And that prayer has been answered!