I had always believed that a good community is a gathering of people who share the same interests, that we help and look out for each other because of the common interest.
When the conversation about what it meant to support one another within a community, I started talking without thinking. But somehow, I believe God spoke to me and gave this description.
Throughout our lives, we build walls up. We are a vulnerable bunch, so we build walls up to protect our selves. We cover up our vulnerabilities. Whether it’s our baggage, our shortcomings or anything that we are embarrassed to share we build it up. And we make a strong wall. It’s that brick wall we put around ourselves that protects us from the outside and covers up who we really are inside.
But when we need support, we turn to people in our community. They get to know us. They become a part of our lives. We trust them. We know they will be there for us. Whether it’s a church, workplace, a bunch of friends you play ball with, that’s community.
So with this community of supporters, we slowly let them see us for who we are. One by one, we let them take a brick away from our wall. Little by little, they get to see parts of us. We are OK with this because we trust them. And soon enough, people in our close tight community have helped taken away some of the bricks of this wall. The wall is still there, but with the trust we have with these people, not all the bricks are there.
And when we do go through troubles, and the foundation of our wall starts to shake, we can trust that our community will plug back in the bricks they have from us. Because they know us, they know where to put back the bricks to hold us up. They know our weaknesses, so they know how to protect and heal it.
That’s a community. Where you can trust people to see you for who you are. And when we almost fall, they can plug the bricks right back in and protect us.
It’s a view of what I would imagine a good community would be like. Especially a community in the church, I would hope that there are people whom I can trust to have some of my bricks and see me for who I really am. And I hope that when I do start to wobble and shake, they can plug me back in and protect me.
I may never fully break down the entire wall. But if the people I trust in my community hold to the key pieces of my wall, I know I will never topple.