Letting Your Lil Light Shine | day 25: build community

tammy | raggle-taggle

Sometimes, I feel like something is missing. Do you ever feel it? Like there's some discontentment, or some disconnect in daily life. Like something may be missing. Or that maybe something is simply "off" keeping me from feeling attached and like I have something of value to offer. Something keeping me feeling on the "outside."

Do you ever feel it?

Whether or not I take the time to investigate, there's always a reason. Often a reason related to my lack of community. You know, when the truth becomes evident that no amount of "likes" or comments on Facebook photos is enough to fill that void--the one only genuine community with others can fill. Or when I long to not do this mom-thing alone through the day, and dream of Bible times when surely the women carried their burdens together--in community.

We've sort of lost the meaning of community in our need-our-own-space, stay-out-of-my-box culture. We've lost a little of what it means to be the body of Christ, together as one body. Not a hand flapping around over there and a foot learning to walk by itself over here. But a genuinely connected body of Christ.

If we finally understood this, would our shine finally demand notice like a city on a hill?

Tammy attended Christian blogging conference I went to a couple weeks ago. She lives in a real live Christian community and shares some of these unique experiences on her blog Raggle-Taggle. I asked her to share how she lets her lil light shine and especially the role of community in helping her shine.

Here is Tammy's response...

>> I believe my light shines by being present to the people around me. It also shines through my blog, the relationships I’m building through social media (like being an online community leader with (in)courage), and the project I’ve recently relaunched with a friend, called Threads of Compassion--a loosely connected group of survivors of sexual violence and abuse who desire to offer comfort and support to recent victims. (Learn more at www.threadsofcompassion.org.)

The truth is, I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for community. Authentic, messy, faithful community saved my life. When I was 19 and suffering from severe depression, God led me to Jesus People USA in Chicago--an intentional Christian community serving the poor in the inner city. Intentional means that we actually live together and pool our resources.

It was there that I found hope and healing, family and forgiveness. Living with others helped me to claim truth for my life and spurred me on to keep believing it, even when things got dark. They believed for me, when I couldn’t believe for myself. The only way I could walk out the Christian life was with these brothers and sisters, walking out their own messes and meanderings.

Through them I've learned friends are more than a name on the calendar. You can’t schedule confession and communion. Inviting someone into your life when the laundry is covering the couch or the hamster cage needs cleaning, for no other reason than you think they’ll really like this episode of Scrubs, means infinitely more to someone than making a date with them for six weeks in the future. Hearts can shut down in six weeks.

Don’t wait 'til life “settles down” to call that friend, or email that person you met, or go visit that
woman who needs it, because it’s never going to happen. Do it now. Choose community. <<