Community (aka John Wayne vs. the Amish)

Last night, John and I--and other friends from Crosspointe--went to go help our friend, Sheila, move to her apartment and set up her garage sale.  It is an emotional thing because there is a divorce involved, but for all the negative that goes along with that there is this huge positive in the middle of it.  Not just for Sheila, but for all of us. There is something about a community gathering around to do not only the tasks that need to be done, but to go through the transitions in life together that is really powerful.

And so I started thinking about all of the other times our community has come together for the one.  Jody's battle with breast cancer. Elsa's new apartment, Nancy caring for a mom with Alzheimers, Kylie's surprise party so she wouldn't miss Australia, KALEIDE events, celebrating Kim's milestone birthday, baby and wedding showers, and countless times individual financial needs have been quietly met.

I'm not sure why the "going it alone" model of John Wayne got such a following, when the Amish model of barn raising is so much closer to the way we were designed to live. Life is better together. And while movies may glamorize the "lone wolf," the reality is that people who live their lives solo are much more likely to write crazy letters and bomb things.

Heck, we even took technology (something typically cold, hard and metal) and made it social creating cell phones and Facebook and e-Harmony.  In our heart of hearts, we want connection.
Consider the words of King Solomon--who was considered in his day to be the wisest man in the world...

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The thing about community is it doesn't just happen to you. (Unless you grow up in a small town but that's another matter entirely.)  You can sit on the sidelines, or complain that it isn't quite what you want it to be, or be frozen in fear of rejection.  Or, you can take a risk, actively engage it and join in.

UPDATE:  John thinks I've totally messed up this metaphor and assures me that John Wayne always had a posse and wasn't above taking help. So, maybe I should have used Clint Eastwood, though didn't he have help from a monkey one time?  Chuck Norris? Bruce Lee? Stephen Segal? (The movie Stephen Segal...not the pseudo-reality-show Stephen Segal.)

1 comment

NancyJ said...

...and this one too!! I love this one too!!! (I read tghem backwards chronologically...) P.S. I do think John Wayne was often a "do it alone" kind of guy. Rooster Cogburn, etc...

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Maira Gall