I sat at my kitchen table, golden light filtering in. My back door slid open to let in the cool of the morning. As I closed my eyes I heard chickadees singing, dogs barking and a baby crying. Soft sunlight glittered on the puddles of last night’s rain storm. Piano music played from my computer.
As I listened to the noises all around, felt included in our community.
My suburban neighborhood is filled with people doing life. Couples, older and younger. Children scootering up and down our street. Dogs barking and racing around their fenced in back yards.
I live in community.
The question is, am I a part of it?
I don’t know many of our neighbors. In all honesty, I have not made the effort to know all of our neighbors. Sometimes, it’s easier to focus on my own life. The struggles with the kids. The husband who travels for work.
Sometimes, I close the windows of my soul, drowning out the noises of lives around me. At times, the effort to keep my soul’s windows open feels too great . . . to hear of the pain others are walking through.
At times, I’m overwhelmed by my own hard. To reach out to others in their hard feels like more than I can do.
Here’s the thing, though. When my “windows” are closed, I’m isolated. I’m cut off from those around me. When I’m so focused on my own “stuff”, I’m neither inviting others in to walk with me—to live in my space—nor am I pouring into others’ lives.
God created us as interdependent creatures. He knows the journey we will each walk. God knows the difficulties we will face. He created us to walk them with others. In community. God wants us to look to Him to help us through our difficulties.
God is our strength. But often, the Lord shows His strength when He encourages others to walk alongside us. He invites us to let others into our lives.
When I open the windows of my soul, I hear the hurts others are walking through. I can pray for them. For some, I can walk alongside them.
Can I help everyone? No. Nor does God call me to. But, when my windows are open, I am aware of what’s going on in the lives around me. Then I can pray about how to help others. And, I can pray for them in their hard.
We live in community in different ways.
When we choose to wall ourselves off from those around us, we open ourselves up to the enemy and his lies. We become easy targets. And the enemy will fire arrows our way.
Maybe we can all work on opening the windows of our souls and listening to life being lived around us.
Being in community offers protection. It offers encouragement. And it offers fellowship.
What about you? How do you live in community with those around you? How are you intentional about growing community around you?
Click to Tweet: God created us to walk through difficulties with others.
Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett