What does it mean to belong?
With whom do you belong?
In what places do you belong?
What is it that is missing in those moments|places that we don’t belong?
We’ve been talking community for the last three weeks… playing out into my writing (intro here, #2, #3, #4). The big realization|actualization at hand is the idea of opening safe space for each other to truly be… to learn who we are in the light of the love of God, and to share that in the way of Jesus. Affirmed this week, Sunday night: We feel safe in our community… it really is a place we can come and challenge, be challenged, and grow, knowing that we are going to be loved no matter what. All who have come and gone have left with this impression.
The issue at hand, though, is that we know there are many, many in our direct spheres of relationship that desperately need a safe place. How do we share with those outside, what we hold and value so dearly on the inside? How do we move beyond thinking that those outside are not really outside but part of us? The differentiation of in|out, while it seems inevitable is something that we want to continually subvert.
We looked at John 4, where Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well… or… more than talks to her. It was made so real to us that what Jesus really did was bring to her that which was at the deepest part of his being… that of living water. He invited her and spoke to her deepest need without passing any judgment on her life. His reputation also was one that inspired safety and trust amongst his disciples. Because of this, the woman was free to relax into the joy of the future… and her city was changed.
As this became very real to us, one of us noted that a couple of men he knew were overwhelmed with the task of caring for their families as their wives were gone or sick. The opportunity unfolded before us… and we now will be providing food for one of these men and his family.
Foothold… moving forward… energy…