Blessed Community

I haven't had the energy to write much of anything lately. I was blindsided by the suicide of a friend and mentor about a week ago. In my grief, I've been thinking about community. While I've been surrounded by love since I got the news, I'm reminded that she didn't have that kind of supportive local community.

From holding me while I sobbed, to making sure my cats and I have been fed regularly, to helping me do my laundry, to "thinking of you" text messages and letting me bail on scheduled activities, my friends have really come through for me in my time of need. I have been overwhelmed with community and I am so, so grateful.

I had been singing "Here I am, Lord" a lot lately. The chorus goes something like this:
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
When I realize how obedient I've been, how open I've been to my leadings, I'm able to absolve myself of most the guilt. I know that there was nothing else I could have done to help my friend. While I've been grieving the loss of such an important person in my life, both professional and personal, I've been comforted by the last line of the chorus. His people have been holding me in their hearts this week. His people: the athiest Jews, lapsed Catholics, Quakers both "good" and "bad," and beef-eating Hindus.

I used to long for a community of faith. For a local, thriving meeting to accept me and my faith without reservation. The kind of Blessed Community that Thomas Kelly talks about in his Testament of Devotion. I may not have found my community of faith yet, but I do have a community of love. And today, that feels like more than enough.

Elizabeth Bathurst

1 comment:

James Naylor said...

'Tis the makings of the kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Were that we could all see the workings of the spirit so clearly...