A few days ago, my lovely wife wrote a fantastic post about community living that makes a great companion to one of my earlier posts. It’s sooooooo good; check it out!
I guess I say the word community with a little trepidation. Mostly because my husband has a long beard, I have dreadlocks, and sometimes we wear patchouli oil for fun. With those powers combined and add the word community, and I just know you’re all over the “Take a bath HIPPIE” yells.
I’m not a hippie.
Trust me. Hippies run around naked and poop on trees. And then hug them. And then eat their bark. And then thank the trees for their bark that they are eating and pooping on, naked.
I’m not a hippie.
But I do like community. I like the idea of home family. whether that be immediate family or the family of neighbors around you. There’s something so comforting about knowing that there are people around you who are fighting for you, who are excited to live next to you, eat with you, and work with you. I don’t believe every man is an island. I don’t believe we were ever created to live in our own little corners of the world doing what’s best for “me.”
What’s best for me, is living with a full heart.
You know, like at Christmas time. When everyone all of a sudden is giving to the poor and baking cookies for their neighbors? It’s because mamma’s and daddy’s get to see their littles faces light up with excitement because mamma and daddy gave them something out of the norm, just to show them that they love them with all their heart. And everyone is happy, and has full hearts because they escaped for a minute out their island to tell someone else they love them.
Community makes every day like Christmas.
Every day you get the opportunity to tell someone who you normally wouldn’t that you love them. And every day you get to experience a full heart. And man, that’s what this life is about.
Again, I’d like to say I’m not a naked tree hippie. It’s not all flowers and tree hugging happiness.
Giving is hard.
Because I’m selfish. I’m so selfish. I want everyone to give to me. I want to be the one who gets all the toys on Christmas and on an every day setting, I want everyone around me to know that I’m the one who needs attention.
That will never fulfill your heart.
It’s the pain of giving that fulfills. It’s the pain of saying I’m going to share my life with you, that makes it worth it. We call it dying to ourselves. And dying to ourselves is hard. But so worth it.
Family is worth it. It’s worth it to me to die to myself to see my littles grow up knowing they are cared for.
Have you read the book of Acts? There’s something so beautiful about the second chapter. It’s almost become cliche in some areas. Or looked over. Or not really noticed. Or overly noticed and made to be a naked, tree pooping, hugging, eating mantra.
In the second chapter of Acts near the end of the chapter, verses 42-47 there’s a “deep sense of awe” and “all the believers met together in one place shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper and shared their meals with great joy and generosity–all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved”
I have just a few thoughts:
This was because the Holy Spirit had come upon them–Great, I said Holy Spirit. Now instead of “take a bath hippie,” you’re running in fear of my crazy antics that probably follow the term Holy Spirit. We’ll get into that another day. But for the record, not crazy. Okay, carry on.
- Shared the money with those in need--our hearts are full when we give, and stop getting.
- Shared their meals with great joy and generosity-– Maybe because I’m mamma, and I cook, I really get this. I can tell you right now, there is nothing more warming to me then bringing the family in together at the end of the day for a meal. And by the family, I mean anyone who’s walking by–go ahead, ask me if there will be enough. There will ALWAYS be enough. There always is. You can’t go wrong when you are walking with the Lord and giving out of His Love. There will ALWAYS be enough.
- All while praising God–when you heart is ful, and you see the Lord provide and know this is how it should be, praise is what comes forth.
- The Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved–PRAISE GOD.
Okay, so now I’m all excited in my heart. Christmas I tell you; It’s like Christmas.
Be community. Live Community. Be Filled, and full-hearted. And don’t run naked pooping on trees.