For 5 days last week, we had the privilege of playing host to 9 of our friends from Lancaster (and 10 additional friends on Saturday night!) . They joined us to see our new home, learn about what it means to create incarnational community, and serve and learn about the new region in which our family now lives. We ate (lots) together, chatted about life, watched movies, played card games, sorted food and cleaned coolers at our local food bank, did some volunteer work at my local disc golf course, did some babysitting for families who were experiencing temporary homelessness, and more. We spent evenings sharing about our own journeys and wrestling with what it means to “be” the church in a world where lots of people “go” to church.
These are dear friends and partners of ours, who are passionate enough about living the way of Jesus to foolishly think that it can change the world, and each local community. Foolish enough to think that there’s something wonderful about 11 big people and 2 little people sharing a house for nearly a week. Foolish enough to believe that out of 6 billion people in the world, each one of them is capable of making a lasting impact through laying down their lives for others. I had some of my new friends around here see what was going on, laugh, and kind of think it was crazy that people would come down and live with us in this kind of a way. I like the quote of Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, when he said, “If we are crazy, it is because we refuse to be crazy in the same way that the world has been crazy.”
We live in such isolation- our homes tend to be private and personal, our faith tends to be private and personal…. and yet we’re completely hard-wired for meaningful relationships with others. Not only that, but if we are seeking to live out the way of Jesus, and we are given over 70 scriptural challenges on “one anothers” – love one another, be devoted to one another, bear one another’s burdens, etc— well, it’s hard to do any of that if you’re not living life in community with other people. Not that we all have to live in a commune, but the fact remains- life happens best together, in community. And it’s kind of crazy how independent and self focused our world is (and how it’s SO easy for each one of us to slip into the same routine of individualism, even though deep down we’re longing for safe places of connection with other people). So, I echo Maurin and say that it’s ok for us to be a little crazy… but I don’t want to be crazy in the same way that most of our world is crazy. And after this week, it’s just another wonderful reminder that we’re not alone in our insanity!
Thanks to our friends- new and old, who spent the week with us. Your willingness to be a part of LifePath, even if only for a week, made a difference!