life and faith

Why being in community matters to me

I’ve been thinking about how we create community. Because during my time as a writer/poet/blogger I’ve been truly thankful for the friendly writing community I’ve found.

They’ve offered a spiritual home and a haven.

When I sit at home typing away, words fly through the ether, seemingly lost for ever.

But I like to think they’re being received into the heart and mind of another.

A connection is made. A bridge being built.

It’s the beginning of being in community. Making heart connections.

Community may start with just one person, and that’s okay. True community building takes time and trust.

It takes courage and commitment, showing up, being present and a slow unfolding.

We bare our souls, lay thoughts down and hope no-one stamps heavy on them with muddy footprints.

building community hope pin

As writers, our hope is to have words wrapping their way around another’s mind, weaving into their heart and soul as they find a place to settle.

Offer an open invitation to share life and grace together, the messy bits, the hard parts, insights and painful fights within our souls.

This is my hope and prayer as I write: to be authentic, open, sharing and encouraging. 

I want to reach out and wrap arms around another, reassure them they are not alone in their struggles.

I want to have those, “You too?” moments together of sharing my perspective and see how it lights up in another’s eyes while we let out our breath, slip off our shoes and sit in companionable silence if necessary.

Because we’re not meant to do life alone. We’re hard-wired for loving, supporting, holding one another up, giving and receiving. The thing is, I need you, friend.

I’ll aim to be an alert listener. One with an ear to ground, sensing Holy Spirit whispers.

To write as I’m inspired to do so, not by my own agenda. To seek to be a Truth-teller, Light-bearer and grace-sharer.

Community can crucify if it’s a community of closed minds, cold comparisons and hard hearts. It can knock us down rather than help us to our feet. It can feel isolating and demarcating.

That’s not the sort of community I have in mind. Mine is more a meeting of minds, an opening of doors, a warm invitation and a place at the table for all.

building community - we pin

It isn’t so much about me and my goals as it’s about you and me as we share this space together and learn from one another.

Friend, you are welcome here. Come and make yourself at home. It’s a work in progress like its owner, but I keep the coffee pot hot for you.

There may not be a literal cake in the cupboard, but you can find some food for your soul.

And some open sharing of wounds as we both trust God for the laying bare and healing to come, plus some grace glimmers and prayer whispers to breathe hope into your days.

Most of all, as we share this space, I hope we’ll become a close community, a diverse group who find safe and common ground.

So I say a heartfelt, “Thank you” to all who have accompanied me so far and all who find their way here now, who do me the honour of reading these words.

Come in, friend. Make yourself comfortable and join in the conversation by sharing what community means or looks like to you right now.

Your words matter, they really do, far more than you know. I can’t do community without you, I really can’t.

I wasn’t going to write today, but this topic? It stirs me heart and soul and words just begged to be shared.

And, so saying, I link arms (rather belatedly) with the caring community of fellow writers over at Barbie’s place for Weekend Whispers. Come join us?

14 Comments

  1. Jen 27th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 27th September 2015
  2. Kimmie 27th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015
  3. Carly 27th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015
  4. Helen 27th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015
  5. Mary Harwell Sayler 28th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015
  6. Trudy 28th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015
  7. Barbie 29th September 2015
    • Joy Lenton 29th September 2015

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