Compassion, Life Lessons, Relationships

What True Community Looks Like

In the wake of the Boston marathon tragedy, I’ve been pondering the concept of community. Like you, I’ve read some news articles and  have listened to some interviews.

I’ve been amazed at the compassion shown BY total strangers, TO total strangers. Yesterday a pastor tweeted something to the effect that, when the bombs went off, some ran toward the disaster instead of away from the disaster.

What would you have done? What would I have done?

I’m pretty sure that fear would have driven me away…but would love have driven me back?

What is true community? Today my thoughts kept going back to biblical examples. There are many, but a few stood out to me.

The Good Samaritan. Stopped to help a perfect stranger. Poured oil into his wounds. Paid for all of the care he would need to be nursed back to strength.

The Innkeeper. Opened up his stable to a very special couple- strangers to him, but beloved and chosen by God- carrying His Son. The inkeeper became part of Scripture, part of God’s fulfillment of prophecy. He had no idea what would come of his kindness.

Christ Himself. Stopped at a well in Samaria. Stayed where He wasn’t welcome in order to meet a deep spiritual need of a ‘random’ woman there. His presence transformed her life, her family’s life, and her community’s life.

Christ Himself {how can we not mention the perfect example twice?!} On the cross, giving His blood for total strangers (from the human standpoint). In the book of Colossians we are referred to as ‘aliens.’  Sadly, most of humanity remains strangers to Christ. But the fact stands: He had compassion on His enemies.

This is true community.

Families sometimes rally around each other- we say that’s what families do.

Friends step in and meet needs for each other- we say that’s what friends are for.

Communities come together and help another community member with a health concern- we say that’s what towns and communities are for.

But to rally around an outsider? To support a stranger? To meet the needs of an enemy, out of pure love and compassion? To do it because we love Christ, not necessarily because we love or even know the other person?

This is true community.

It happened in Boston. Is it happening in our life circles? Are we looking for opportunities?

If fear drove you away…would love drive you back?

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4 thoughts on “What True Community Looks Like

  1. I just got done having my daily Bible study time reading about the betrayal of Jesus and was pondering His love for even His enemies, when I opened my emails and found this post waiting for me to read. It was so convicting to me! Thank you so much for sharing what was on your heart!

  2. I am working on being more a community type person. I love my
    community but somedays I still feel I dont quite belong, maybe
    because of the fact I am from away, from a different culture and
    race. I am thankful for Christ’s love which mellows my heart and
    helps me to reach out to people in need. I know there is room for

    1. This is why I wanted to use your picture. {thank you} 🙂 And I understand your feelings of not quite belonging since we are transplants too! You will always belong with us, and us with you.

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