Before I share, I have a confession to make. Sometimes I avoid community. Recently, I reached out to someone and admitted I bypassed an opportunity to connect with an entrepreneurial community. I just didn’t feel like it. Although I know healing can happen, I am avoiding it. During that time, I was headed to an event and was incredibly lost. I said, “ This is why I don’t do community events” (ask my brother who heard my complaints). Could it be the healing I needed was there, but I allowed my frustration to speak louder? It’s possible. Healing never happens in a bubble as we assume. God personalizes our experience, and it happens in plain view for others to see.
When we think of platforms, we believe they are available at our leisure and when everything is good. However, some of the most significant platforms are birthed from sorrow. Look at the news and you will see heroes have been born from natural disasters, personal tragedies and people like you and I who decided that despite their feelings they would go through it all.
It doesn’t mean that their resilience was an independent effort. Behind each person are seeds that have been sown through family, friends, and God sent ambassadors to help them gain their muscle. We enjoy their strength but forget that it took process and community to be born.
What is a community? It includes people with similar beliefs and interests who connect. For the type of community I am talking about it goes much deeper. It’s also people committed to a goal or purpose greater than themselves and who are invested in each person’s growth. Faith communities should be at the forefront because community is what Jesus wanted to build. A place where everyone is welcome and significant–not just during our weekly services.
In community there is safety. People know you by name and value you enough to make you feel protected. Whatever stage you are in, they love and mentor you through. In community there is accountability. It isn’t one-sided either. It’s accountability to heal but a commitment on the other end of the relationship to keep showing up no matter how long it takes (or even our responses as we work through pain). In community there is love. It’s kind of hard to spend time with people you don’t like. In community you belong, and it’s not because people tolerate you. They genuinely want you included!
Community requires maturing, and sadly some of us lack this vital skill. Case in point let’s look at the Samaritan woman. The scripture does not say if she was alone (and with someone secretly) as a widow or through divorce. At any rate, we know the community knew her business. When Jesus came on the scene, I can only imagine what the women in the community said. Jesus addressed the internal dryness of this woman’s life, gave her a sense of identity and she found wholeness at the end of their conversation. The wisdom might have been personal, but her healing happened before everyone’s eyes. What did she do? Did she keep it to herself? No, she said “Come see a man who told me everything about who I am!” She became an evangelist in her area and who knows how her healing blessed others.
When we are committed to being available, not labeling people based on what we think, and speaking life towards their recovery, we will see healing become the norm.
We must learn how to be committed to the lives of others. If you have ever been hurt, you know it isn’t pretty. You try to hobble along when you should rest. You may pretend so no one sees your injury, but it’s visible. So it should be no surprise to us when we encounter the same.
Instead of condemning people for not coming to us sooner, drowning people in scripture without sharing application, or turning our backs on people for performing badly we must welcome the hurting. The persons may or may not be open at first, and it’s ok. With wisdom, God will give you a strategy to accept healing and in turn serve others through your healing.
Is there anything you need healing from?
Do you have anyone you trust to support you?
If not, ask God to introduce you to those you can be in community with to grow.