Sunday, February 17, 2013

Community (by Luke)

Since life at the ranch has been a little hectic, I decided to let Luke be my guest blogger this week.  Knowing that words love me, my first-born often gives me stories that he has written about his life.  Here is one of my recent presents from him.  (As an explanation, Luke is living at home this semester, working at an internship in a nearby city.  He is loving his new "professional world" but missing his friends and "family" at the University of Iowa.  This is one story about that.)

I didn’t know how much I actually wanted it. People that is. I'm the type of person where, if I have a choice, I’ll read a book by myself in my room. So I didn’t realize how much purpose I found in hanging out with people.

I started out the year living in a house. It was much different than living in the dorms, namely there was a lot less people. And I had to make my own food.  It was kind of weird, because my house didn’t have living rooms. It doesn’t seem like  this would be that would be a big deal, but this along with most of roommates being introverted like myself, means I spent a lot of my time alone, even being very close physically to other people. I didn’t ever feel like I was missing something per se, but I felt like God had done a lot more in the past and I wanted him to do more.

True community is a structure where Christ is preeminent even in the most mundane elements. The Salt Company fall retreat was specifically focused on the community of the church. And afterward everyone came home greatly motivated to “have more community” but having a vague idea of to do so. I decided to give this community thing my best shot. Slowly, I began to invite people over to my house. I started by having people over every Monday for lunch. I just invited any of my friends that would come; with no regard for if they were in the same friend group or if they even knew the rest of the group. It wasn’t fancy, when I first started out, I didn’t even own plates and I still only have two spoons, but there was always spirited conversation and it was fun. My friend, Bri described Monday lunches as “the most eclectic group of people she had ever met.”

As the semester progressed, I started having people over for lunch other days of the week. And supper.  And breakfast. Since I was close to campus, I also had people over to do homework. We always worked on my kitchen table. Sometimes, people would stay over until 1:30 am when I have class at 8 am the next day. It was exhausting. But then, I started again to see God at work in the people around me. Selfishness and laziness began to lose their grip on my heart as I spent more and more time with people. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t know if I could handle it, but I miss that community.

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