The True Meaning Of Community

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I've got to tell you, this has been one of the hardest, most enlightening, spiritually draining days of my life.  When Jamie woke me this morning with the news of our adoption situation, my heart sunk, my spirit was weak, and I just felt like I lost a family member. 

I've been out in Denver this week working on some important future planning/mentoring things, and the waves of emotion have been sharp.  They come out of no where, and I start thinking about this little orphan kid in Rwanda without a Mom or a Dad to encourage him through life, and it's just hard. 

I went to grab some breakfast, and I started feeling a great loss.
I ordered lunch, and in the restaurant I found myself fighting back tears so I didn't make a scene.
I talked to a long standing friend, and I'm wanting to just yell out, "This is SO STUPID."

But you know what I learned today?

Finally I've been privy to the real meaning of community.

It's a word that we throw around a lot as this generation seeks to uncover real relationships in real time.  We talk of our community in terms of a neighborhood, or our sphere of friendships in a community, or we even try to identify with people in terms of a church community; as if the very word can conjure up some sort of belonging.  (and believe me, I know the power of belonging to something)  But I learned today, that community isn't something that can just be spoken into existence.  It's a powerful word that means much more than a coffee time at Starbucks with friends, or a road trip with buddies, or even a worship service. 

Although I believe all those venues can begin producing a community at the core of a persons soul, the real power behind the word lies in the messiness of life. 

When I posted the previous news about the sadness and disappointment of our adoption process in Rwanda, immediately (and I mean instantaneously) I started getting messages from people about their concern. 

As the waves of emotion would take over my spirit, I'd look down at my phone and another friend would call and leave a message about the mourning they were feeling in their own lives concerning this situation.  Some of them have no idea what the details are, they were just sad with us.   

My Facebook page is riddled with long lost friends I haven't spoken to in years, and they all say things like "We're praying for the Braners"  or "We're with you lifting you up" or "I got you pal."  And the pain of loss mingles with the fact that people in the world care about us, and I'm just blown away by the outpouring of support and friendship. 

Believe me when I say, this day has been nothing short of miraculous for my own healing.  And if you asked me yesterday if people cared about what was going on in the Braner's life, I would have said yes; but the outpouring of love, friendship, and those people that just say, "I don't know what to say right now, but you know I love you" has been an overwhelming encouragement to this weary soul.

Community doesn't exist through a fad like word attracting iPhone using, Starbucks drinking, black rimmed glasses wearing type people.
Community doesn't happen just because you have a Twitter account or your own YouTube channel.

No, today  I'm here to tell you, community is a powerful outpouring of the realness existing when people reach out to others in hard times.  They don't reach out for any gain.  They don't write to be noticed or thanked.  They just care about others.  It's EXACTLY what Jesus said when He told the disciples, "The world will know you are my disciples by your love for one another."

So today, I'm in awe of God's Amazing Grace, that would allow people from all four corners of the globe who took time out of their own busy lives to take a second and say to our family, "We Care."  And for that, I'm eternally grateful. 

The real meaning of community…

Well, I experienced something special today. And I want the readers of this blog to know, I'm so thankful for people like you.

Thank you so much for putting your proverbial arms around the family at this time.  It means the world to me. 

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