I've been pondering community lately. As someone who attempts to follow the words of Jesus in my life, I feel convicted to foster community... somehow. I don't live on my own, I have few possessions, and my financial budget is small. I've moved around quite a bit the last few years, and thought my current town is my hometown, my good friends now live far away or we are no longer such good friends. My heart wants to live and love with those who are like me. Don't we all want that?
The idea of not only having a social network for mental and emotional sharing and support, but a commune-like community where property and time is shared, is intriguing to me. I'm just starting to vocalize all this rumbly-tumblyness inside, so forgive me if I ask more questions here than anything else.
Where do I even begin? Even writing this, there's so many directions my heart says to go. "Social justice" is a popular phrase, and I want to know how to work for social change within a framework of God's love and truth, not as an addendum. There are two websites I've been following lately that I'll recommend: Rowdy Kittens and Shareable. Both of these sites discuss using our time, goods and resources for not only our own betterment, but the betterment of those around us. A former pastor used to tell about people who would come up to him and say "You [meaning the church] should do x or y or z". He would tell them "Go for it!". This is a more direct way of saying "Be the change you wish to see in the world".
The hard thing is moving beyond past hurts. I've been involved in so many community efforts, in some way or another, in the past, and have been hurt. Who hasn't? Trying to even write down, right now, what I'm thinking, brings back memories of hurtful times. What if I get hurt again? What if I hurt someone else? What if I fail? This spring I discovered in me a huge fear of failure. I had enrolled in a class that turned out to be much harder than I had anticipated. I failed tests. I felt like a failure. (I'll admit, I made that jump from "failing at something" to "I am a failure" very quickly.) I passed, but that fear was an unwelcome discovery. Yet like my class, where my options were either give up and never know what could have been, or try and maybe something positive will come out of it, I must try SOMETHING.
The idea of sharing resources is especially interesting to me right now. I have a lot to say about STUFF, but for today I'll end on a good note. If anyone wants to borrow my canning supplies, or anything else I have, please ask.
For canning, I have:
a water-bath canner with rack
an instant-read thermometer/timer
a jar lifter
recipes, tips, and books
I am also happy to teach you how to can.
If you have a similar conviction, let's put our brains together! What are ways that you know of, or desire to see put into practice, to live in communion with others?