When I began thinking about writing a series of posts on the subject of “community” my friend Carrie instantly came to mind. Carrie is one of the most passionate people you will ever meet and she is wise beyond her years. She consistently challenges me in my love for others and encourages me to seek community when all I want to do is run and hide. I am thrilled for you to meet her!
Hi! I am Carrie and I am so excited to be sharing with you today. As we dive in, I’d like you to consider the following questions:
Am I happy?
Am I with people who make my life better?
Am I contributing to making the lives of others better?
Continue pondering your answers to these questions as we begin our discussion of two subjects I’m deeply passionate about: community and honor.
Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals; joint ownership or liability
Honor: high respect; esteem; a privilege
So, how do these two gifts pair up? I immediately think of a hot air balloon – it’s massive, there are 2 main parts, it has a unique woven design that is stunning when it rises to fly, and it doesn’t explode under pressure.
In this metaphor, community is the balloon (referred to as the envelope) and, like the beautiful colored balloon, the tapestry of humanity choosing to share life with each other is a design that is unmatched. Your community is much like the balloon with its fabric intricately woven together. It is no accident that you have ended up where you are, with the people you are with.
Now honor is definitely the basket. It’s the weight that contributes to the sturdiness of the entire structure. It holds everyone together.
The balloon doesn’t fly without the basket and the basket doesn’t fly without the balloon. You see, community won’t be all it can be without honor and honor can’t be fully achieved without community.
And, none of this happens without a little fire! There will be moments in community where fire is present, it will get hot and probably uncomfortable, but the balloon has a protective sealant preventing it from burning up. Covered with the right coating, the fire is an accelerant that allows you to take flight.
This is COMMUNITY!
When you are with the right people, even the difficult moments, like having an honest conversation, setting healthy boundaries, and being vulnerable, don’t seem as hard because you are covered by the right people who will protect you.
So how does this apply? What does this look like walked out day to day?
Well, one of the most important things to keep in mind as we pursue being in community with people is keeping the main thing the main thing. We have to be sure that we are seeing people in their best light and not looking for fault or failure in them. Community really is about coming alongside and helping each other live our best lives.
Here are a few tips that you can keep handy as you do life with others – consider this your pocket guide to community:
- Everyone is welcome into community
- Community is about relinquishing the desire to control others.
- Community is a gift
- Honor makes us better humans
- Be wildly rebellious, brave, & strong & find community
Connect with Carrie at tribelife.org
Download Community: You’re Welcome at the Table, a free PDF, at sarahjcallen.com/community