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Together...

It's Five Minute Friday, and it seems fitting, somehow, that my 200th post on this blog would be spent freewriting on a very difficult (for me) prompt from Lisa-Jo. Click here for FMF details, and to join in!

I am an introvert. (That may surprise some people - or it may not...) My phone lives on silent and I screen nearly every call that comes in (unexpected contact is jarring, even from someone I like), I ask for help as an absolute last resort (partly because it's just easier to do it myself, partly because I don't entirely trust someone else to do it how I'd like it done, and partly because I don't want to be an imposition), and while I enjoy spending time with people (especially Knitters!) I need time alone afterwards to recover (more time than just the 15 minute car trip between where I was and where I'm going next). Not saying whether that's good or bad, or trying to justify any of those actions - it's just how I am, and I realize that how-I-am could use some work.

Lately, though, I've been seeking community, and I've been frustrated by what I've found. I can count on one hand the number of people who can (or will, perhaps...) look at me and know what kind of day I'm having. (Perhaps I'm out of practice, or speak a completely alien language from a forgotten time, but I don't think it's for lack of trying and reaching out.) I jokingly told Adam that I either need to convert a Knitter to Christianity, or a Christian to knitting - but there was some truth behind the laugh. It seems that many of the kindest people I know are not my brothers and sisters (which doesn't make me like them less, but it does make it more of a task than an uplifting experience to tell them about the amazing sermon on Sunday - a task that I should probably tackle, but that's for another post on another day), and that most of those who should be like family are consumers who've missed the directive to add to the beauty - forgotten that they're a poem penned by God, to bring Him glory.

It seems we've all lost sight of what's important... so many of the artists are bent on making art for the purpose of self-glorification, the church-goers have reduced fellowship to a potluck lunch where everyone sits with the same people they have always sat with and no one sees a problem with that, and everyone collects people who are Just Like Them and adds them to their clique like a grown-up version of the latest exclusive playground collect-and-trade trend.

Beginning (again - I've begun so many times before) the task of getting together some people that I can get together with is a slow process, and an often painful one. Feeling like I have little to offer, but that those around me often take more than I have to give without giving in return, it's at least brought me closer to God through prayer --- and I'm confident that somewhere out there there is a community of Family that I can be a part of that's passionate about God, each other, and adding to the beauty. They may be somewhere else, waiting in another place for another time - or they may be right here, sitting across the aisle or in the next seat, engaged in the same quest I'm on.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." [Hebrews 10:24-25]

Comments

Jo Rose said…
Wow! Your story of seeking community mirrors my own. (With the exception that I am an extrovert. :-) ) It is so hard for me to seek out community because I don't want to be a burden, and what if "they" (whoever they is) don't like me. Thank you for sharing your heart. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Andee Flynn said…
Wow! I love what you had to share! And I only kinda know how to knit ( one scarf, one baby beanie while the little one was growing in my belly) But I sure would love to knit and talk God's love with you. Even though I've never met you, and this is the first time I'm reading your blog, I feel connected to your words through your heart. I have felt this too- oh how I've felt these same feelings!

So blessed by your words today. I'm looking forward to getting to "know" you more on your blog in the future.
Ashley Mays said…
Just wanted to throw out a resounding "Amen!" here. I'm a hardcore introvert (100%!) and often feel the same way, especially since I've been looking for strong community where I live for the last six and a half years without much success. It's hard to find the close, live-giving connections, but I'll pray for those to well up in your life soon. :-)
Kayla said…
*tears*

As a fellow "introvert" for whom community is a tiring commitment along with being a mom who can't find community with other moms because "motherhood" is one of the most passionately divisive vocations out there... This post resonated with me.

Trying is hard. And sometimes we feel like we've failed at community. You know what I'm finding, though? The people I don't feel like I have community with -- they are the ones who often talk about me being their "best friend" or "a wonderful friend," etc. They don't jive with me; they aren't who I envision when I think "community" (usually because I don't feel like I have much in common with them). But that doesn't mean they aren't.

Thanks for writing this. And congrats on arriving at 200 posts!
Angel said…
You are speaking my language Sarah Jo. Maybe you'll find a bit of that community in the blog world. It has been a source of connection for me since I moved to a new place six years ago and encountered similar obstacles. God is helping me to see that there is a purpose in this. As you say, it brings us closer to Him. And, I think, it does give us a special empathy for those who are on the outside looking in, longing to come together with others in the bond of friendship.

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