I was reading back through my journal this morning and my heart grabbed onto this and I’ve been ruminating on it ever since…
“You love as well as you are willing to be inconvenienced. How well we inconvenience ourselves for each other is the real sinews of community that binds friendships, ties relationships—not how well we impress each other. The only way to live a remarkable life, is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of love everywhere you go.” –Ann Voskamp
Community. This topic comes up often between my husband and I. Not only is this his realm of expertise I believe, along with teaching of course, but he has been working on a book for quite some time now that is solely on this topic…community.
Community is such a basic human need; God wired us to be in community with others. To laugh together, cry together, break bread together, shoulder each others burdens, and to push each other forward. Of course, my husband is the writer in the family and how he describes community is way more eloquent.
But the word Ann attaches to community, inconvenience, it hit me this morning. How am I inconveniencing myself for others? We all want to be in community because the opposite is loneliness and who wants that. But are we willing to inconvenience ourselves on behalf of others in order to experience the raw, intense beauty of community? It’s so easy to live our lives devoid of community because we believe in some way we have achieved it via social media, albeit a false sense of community. And we have all these excuses about how little time we have for community don’t we…”we have something at church every night this week”…”I am running around like a crazy person getting my kids to all their extra-curricular activities” etc., etc. I’ve always said that you will make time for what’s important to you.
I love what Jen Hatmaker says about community, “Instead of waiting for community, provide it, and you’ll end up with it anyway.” Isn’t that so true. Community isn’t just going to happen to you, you have to be proactive about it. It has to become important to you. You have to be willing to inconvenience yourself on behalf of others in order to experience it.
I have personally experienced community such as this and maybe you have read about my Whirlybirds before. We inconvenienced ourselves for each other and because of that we have all been loved well and have been bound by an eternal friendship.
Is your heart longing for community? If so, how will you inconvenience yourself today on behalf of someone else? It’s as simple as opening your home, sharing a meal at your table, and hopefully in some small way restoring and refreshing someone before they leave. Do you have a TV and a space to watch football…you hold the keys to community. Do you have popsicles and a backyard for kids to run around and play…you hold the keys to community. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or Pinterest-worthy. Just be real, just be you. We all take a deep sigh of relief when we walk in to someone’s home that has toys strewn from one end to the next and dishes in the sink because that is real life and community is best experienced in real life and not some Instagram picture. Can I get an AMEN!