What Community Means to Me

“For me, at the core of religion is our connection to each other, our community.”
– Pavarti K Tyler

What does community togetherness mean to you?

I’m totally going to steal someone else’s definition: “It’s people living life together and helping one another throughout our cities to serve our cities.”

That isn’t just trite to me. That’s very real, and I’ll tell you why. (Note: this post is part of the Celebrating Community blog hop, organized by the lovely Pavarti K Tyler. As part of the celebration tons of bloggers and creatives are offering tons of gifts – and all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter raffle for a chance to win!)

Living Life Together

My little local community group (as defined by these guys) has been through a lot over the past year. We’ve lost jobs and gained others. We’ve grieved family and friends dying, and rejoiced with the birth of new lives. There have been surgeries, car troubles, weird kid issues, housing problems… we’ve been living life, just like every other person out there who has to struggle through whatever’s going on around them.

The difference is, we’re doing it together.

When my husband and I were both down for the count (surgery for both of us within a few days of each other – that could have been better planned), our community group devised a plan and fed us – without compensation – for WEEKS.

We’ve come together to ensure none of our kids go hungry. That nobody is left without a working car. We’ve managed to help out when one of us is getting married (wedding dresses have been given away), and filled one another’s fridges when finances were a problem.

We’ve rebuilt each other’s cars and fed each other’s cats. We’ve taken in dogs when some of us had to move to a different state and couldn’t take the poor furry family member along.

We trust each other to the point of sharing house keys. Why do we do this? Because of love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. […] So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-13 ESV)

My vision of community is based on what I believe Jesus did for me – sacrifice, which He chose to do because of love.

Love can be scary. It involves trust – any time you open yourself up to someone, you’re open to being stabbed. It involves faith – you move forward believing what you do will help. It involves hope – that you’ll be helped in return when you need it, rather than simply being left to fend for yourself.

Community is loving one another. It means needs fulfilled, and trust given.

Community means love.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:12-13 ESV)

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