I've been thinking a LOT about community lately.
Actually, as I write this, a neighbor is giving my daughter a lesson in crocheting. I heard that she knew how to crochet and asked her if she'd be able to come once a week to help Ella progress in her crocheting skills. Just last night, I asked a friend if my kids could come have dinner with their family so Jeff and I could go on a date (yes, we still date!) sometime in the near future. OH, and yesterday, I asked a neighbor to pass me a few pieces of Dove Chocolate over the wall because I knew she had some and I knew that I needed (yes, NEEDED) some!
Do you see a theme emerging? ASK. We can live in a community and never be IN the life of the community. I think that it requires some humility (and in the case of chocolate: desperation) and faith to BE a part of a community. ASKING can open doors to trust, relationship, camaraderie, fellowship. ASKING indicates that we can't 'do it alone'....we are made for relationship! Of course, first and foremost we are created for relationship with God...and then each other!
It seems that, as we make progress technologically (TVs, devices, computers, etc), we can be led out of true community. Sure, Ella could watch a YouTube video about crocheting...but then she'd miss the opportunity to learn from and interact with a real, live human being who happens to be a lovely lady who loves the Lord.
I could probably ramble on for a while about this. But, I won't.
We have the unique privilege of living in a neighborhood with many like-hearted people, of whom the majority are foreigners, which creates an instant common ground for most of us! However, it still requires EFFORT to ASK. It is likely that most of you reading this blog don't live as foreigners in a tight-knit community of ex-pats like we do. However, I'd guess many of you live in a neighborhood. I don't know...crazy thought here...maybe next time you need an egg or a cup of sugar that you thought you had to finish the cookies you are baking...ASK a neighbor. Or, instead of buying that new yard tool, ASK a neighbor if you can borrow his/hers. I know, CRAZINESS! But, you might be pleasantly surprised AND end up with a great friend!