Updated: May 21, 2021
An eclectic set of dishes, pots and storage-ware has found a temporary home on top of the bookshelf in our kitchen, serving as a quiet but powerful reminder of love, care and community. Each piece represents a meal brought to our home; a sacrifice of time, an investment in the well-being of my family and an offer of help during a difficult moment.
Since I slipped last month on a patch of black ice on our front walk and landed on my head, I’m basically Lucille Austero. The most productive things I’ve done are monitoring dust buildup on my bedside table and tracking the amount of gray in my hair as my roots grow out. The prescribed course of treatment for my injury was a couple staples in my scalp and strict orders to do nothing. So right now, I’m useless.
He means for us to lean on and into Him, to be transformed by Him in order to walk it out in ways that honor Him. We can’t do it of our own accord. And I don’t think we can fully know Him apart from it.
I’m also deeply grateful for the kindness offered to us by our Grace family. But not at all surprised by it. Nurturing is a critically-important part and purpose of community, and we’ve found that to be true of the community at Grace Church. Food we’ve received these past few weeks from friends has sustained us, as does the time we’ve spent and will spend worshiping and praying alongside them. We’re stronger when we share with them. Refreshed when we laugh with them. Comforted when we cry with them. Nourished when we serve with them. This feels to me like what Jesus had in mind when He established the Church.
I’ve always told my kids that home is like a boot camp for life. It’s where we learn how to treat people, to respect authority, to love and serve, to accept responsibility, to get along with those who are wired up a bit differently than we are. In somewhat the same way, I think the Church is like Kingdom boot camp.
When Jesus was alive, the example He set for us was to seek out a life in community – specifically, in His Church. Although it’s born of His heart and His imagination, He turned it over to fallible, fallen human people. It’s far from perfect, but it’s what we have. He means for us to lean on and into Him, to be transformed by Him in order to walk it out in ways that honor Him. We can’t do it of our own accord. And I don’t think we can fully know Him apart from it.
Community is humbling for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that we’ll all fall down in some way. All of us will lose our footing at some point and land flat on our backs, alone and unable to stand up. And all of us will have an opportunity to drop what we’re doing, scrape a friend off the sidewalk and whisk them away to the ER.
In Christ’s unfathomable love, provision and grace, He makes Himself available to us through all of it. In the falling or the whisking, in humbling ourselves or serving others – when we allow ourselves to be transformed by Him, community carries on.
Felley Lawson is a writer who loves Jesus, her husband, her kids, her dog and talking about herself in the third person.