A few days ago, as I was going about my usual routine, I kept running into people I know. Moms from story time at the library, friends from Henry’s Kindermusik class, church friends … it seemed every corner I turned brought someone else I knew. It was such a good feeling, like the old T.V. theme song says, to be where “everybody knows your name.”
Community is something I used to take for granted. Always being surrounded by people who not only cared about us in a general sense, but who actually wanted to be involved in our lives, was something I just thought would always be.
I am something of an introvert. Actually, I border on being hermit-like. Left to my own devices, I am quite happy staying at home and engaging in things like reading and playing the piano – tasks that don’t involve human contact. Truthfully, this has nothing to do with the people around me and more to do with my need for space and quiet.
A few years ago, we moved to a city where we had no friends or family. My husband is a minister in our congregation, and our particular denomination believes that ministers are “called” to or from a church based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. In light of that calling, we packed up our life from a city, a church, a job that we really enjoyed and moved two hours away.
Toss in my tendency to introvert-ness, especially in new situations, and this made for a very difficult few years. I often remarked how the “loud and proud,” i.e. obnoxious, types are the only people who have friends (not true, of course, but I was in the middle of a great pity-party).
Fast forward nearly seven years, and the new city feels more like home. We do have friends, people we do life with, people who call out to us across the grocery store. But in all that, I don’t want to take it for granted. It didn’t come easily, and it took work.
Can I encourage you today to reach out to someone who may need a friend, who needs that sense of belonging to a community? Whether in church, at the office, or at the park, wherever you do your life, someone is waiting for you to speak up and get to know them. We all have something unique to offer – make it your mission to find out what her special talents and interests are.
**Suzannah at Deeper Story has a beautiful post today about the value of breaking bread and community. It really resonates with my heart on this issue, and I encourage you to take a moment to read it. You can find it here.