Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Of Great Value

The Necklace is compelling. I'm still thinking, talking, writing about it.
A group of women collectively share something of great value. They selflessly spread the value among others. They grow and develop and become more than they were by the sharing  and wearing and the community that evolves.
I heart that.

My husband and I have been talking about The Necklace in conjunction with a lot of other things- groups we've started, fellowships we're starting, community and the early church and homeschooling.
I don't know about you, but I'm hungry for real community. I long for it. 
And I know what it is, cause I've had the privilege of participating in real community.
The first church I claim as my own.
A group of friends from college.
A group of women friends from church during our lean graduate years in California.
My family.

You'd think there'd be more. O.k., I think there'd be more. But real community is few and far between, crowded out by programs, and making/raising money and busyness, and honestly, apathy. Why participate in a group that is challenging and requires something of myself, when there is so much to show up to that just requires me to look good and display my status?

Homeshcooling,too, acts as a catalyst and because of that a divider. People have strong feelings about it one way or another and are generally not shy in expressing whether they think it's a good idea or a heretical one, tied up with reactionary, head in the sand citizenship. That, or they feel guilty for not homeschooling themselves. Or they think you are a lunatic for homeschooling and giving up a perfectly normal life and a 2nd income. All of that to say, homeschooling can be very isolating. And, oddly enough, there is often dissension among the ranks of homeschoolers- the very group of like-minded others a homeschooler would think they might find community with! Au contrair. Do you dress modestly? Do you dress modestly enough? What do you believe about the age of the earth? Do you believe in higher ed for your daughters? Surely you don't use that curriculum?  Do you go to the right church? Do you believe the correct doctrine? Division upon division.

Someone commented yesterday, in response to the post on Extraordinary Living; HOW? How does one live an extraordinary life when one is full of with mundane, everyday grunt work?

My response is 2-fold. Not that I know everything and answering the "How" is something that I really struggle with some days.
1. Develop a clear vision. What are you doing and why? Write the vision and make it plain.
2. Participate in community. True blue fellowship with others, coming together to do something that none of you can do apart from the others. It energizes, restores, builds up, challenges and breathes life into the ordinary.

The early church did what the women of Jewlia did. They had in common something of great value. They were transformed by the owning of it, wearing and sharing of it. They gave it freely to others when the time was right. They expanded their vision of what it could do for themselves, each other and their community. They are actually doing what the church is supposed to do!

Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?


Jen said...

I could not live without community and it breaks my heart to see all of the things that threaten to consume it. Part of the division is caused so much by people not being willing to concede that their way may not be best for everyone. But, if we step out with love and grace, with open minds and open hearts, we have a much better chance of standing together for Him.

So glad you linked up today. I hope you will be back next week!

Amy Sullivan said...

"But real community is few and far between, crowded out by programs, and making/raising money and busyness, and honestly, apathy."

Yes, I'm a community girl. I live for those real connections, but lately, sigh . . .it has been a struggle.

Lots of good stuff here. Glad you linked-up

Dana said...

There's just so much to do there is hardly any time to be. And I think the more we strip families to the "nuclear family" the more we tear at the foundation of what community even is. People are barely invested in the children of their own families, let alone the people around them.