We had a big weekend, and along with it came some big stuff. Between work, the house, driving a teen to and from their job, prepping dessert for 20, the groundbreaking celebration at church, and home group, throw in a family crisis or two and you have my weekend in a nutshell. With my husband out of town for 10 days or so, fielding all this on my own was a huge stretch.
This past weekend made me ever so grateful for the people that my husband I have chosen to surround ourselves with; our village. These people have seen us through much, and I for one would not want to do life without them. They’ve been there for us when we had family crises, when we had parenting questions, when we needed someone to celebrate with us, to pray with us, and to generally be the village that we raise our children in.
“I don’t think one parent can raise a child. I don’t think two parents can raise a child. You really need the whole village.” Toni Morrison
I really don’t know how anyone can think that they can traverse this life without any support from anyone. Not even Jesus did that, and if anyone could’ve done it, it would’ve been him. Jesus surrounded himself with The 12 (think ministry staff), and of those he had some that were more trusted, who were closer, and he had friends apart from his ministry (Mary, Martha, & Lazarus). But more than that, He came from a heavenly village. His life before coming to earth was also held within community, a close relationship with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit.
When we are completely cut off from others it can have some serious psychological repercussions. A extreme example of this are those that find themselves in solitary confinement within the prison system. “Prisoners who are isolated for prolonged periods of time have been known to experience depression, despair, anxiety, rage, claustrophobia, hallucinations, problems with impulse control, and/or an impaired ability to think, concentrate, or remember” (from Lonely Madness: The Effects of Solitary Confinement and Social Isolation on Mental and Emotional Health).
To a lesser degree, the same thing can happen to us when we cut ourselves off from our village. We were made in God’s image and, because of that, life in community is written within our very DNA.
“Resist the temptation to do life alone.” Bobbi Houston; I’ll have What She’s Having; 2008
Often we will let offense, hurt, or pride get in the way of doing life within a community. We need to remember that we were created for relationship, for life within a village. How else will we learn, grow, and become healthy? We need each other for correction, for celebration, for wisdom, for life.
So my friends, what are your thoughts on community?