What Community Looks Like…

This picture doesn’t look like one of community but this is how a tragic event showed me what community looks like…

This post is being written with a heavy heart and emotions all over the place. A situation occurred in my neighborhood last night that had most of the area concerned. I will briefly give a background but I’m sure if you would like to read more you wont have a hard time finding it.

A young solider home on leave from the Army, ended up killing his girlfriend near our neighborhood. The reasons are unclear and are insignificant to myself. A search continued for him for the next several hours. It finally came to an end again right near our neighborhood with the death of the solider. The police chased him back towards his home where he died, and again details aren’t certain at this time but again not important to myself.

So where in the world do I start with my emotions feeling etc. I was initially thankful my wife and I were not home at the time this began. Then all I could think about was my family and if we were safe. Not once did I think about the victim, the solider, or their families. It was me me me me I I I I us us us us. And to a certain degree rightfully so. And when the chase ended late last night I just felt a sense of relief. Aww  finally we are safe again, now we can head back to bed.

But when I awoke in the morning and was out in the neighborhood running, I heard helicopters flying up above, I could see sirens at the final scene, and news trucks scattered throughout. I first thought “wow that was one crazy night”. Then I started thinking about two young lives both 18 years old. And their families that just lost a loved one. My heart ached for them as I was running. What emotions were they feeling last night during the events? What can they possibly be thinking today? Questions, Doubt, Angry, and Hurt must fill their hearts.

Throughout the events last night our neighborhood block watch kept many people updated and safe. With over 100 comments pertaining to the situation. I couldn’t help but think this morning how thankful I was for all those that took the time via social media to keep others informed. This morning I read the comments those folks had to say about the situation. Almost all where in some way directed to thoughts and prayers towards both 18 year olds and their families. Even tho the events brought terror and fright to the neighborhood, people were still thinking and praying for them. Thats community.

We talk about community alot at our church [http://www.sanctuarycolumbus.com/].  About how we all want community and how important it is to be invested in others lives. I have greatly enjoyed our neighborhood over the past year of being here. I nice newer suburban development, with great schools, lots of runners, well maintained lawns, etc. But after last night I have a completely different feeling towards my neighbors. I want to know them better I want to be invested in them and continue this “community” I saw last night and this morning. I saw this group of neighbors and mere acquaintances come together via social media and look out for one another. Also to share their concerns and saddness for both families. I was no longer viewing my neighbors as oh ya that guy or ya the one with the nice backyard. It was now real genuine interest. For both those directly involved and indirectly.

After my run I decided to take a step towards this community I seek.  By going to the soldier’s house and giving the family some flowers and a personal prayer of support and sadness for their loss. I had some hesitation and thoughts like… What will they say? What if they reject my prayers? Or worse what if they have questions for me on why God would although this to happen? Am I ready to answer them? But in search of this community my neighbors and myself decided that we wanted to show this family our support and prayers. Some neighbors did the same. Also there was a prayer vigil that evening for the two young lives lost. A show of community coming together to support others. That picture follows what Paul wrote in Philippians 2:4-5

4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus 

This letter gave them instructions on Christian unity. Paul’s main point is simple: Only in Christ are real unity and joy possible. Real unity was possible Friday night because in the wake of tragedy. a community came together during a prayer vigil to show support to the family and offer up prayers of comfort to them.

This is what showed me the community in my neighborhood. When things are extremely tough for a family that everyone around them just shows them love and support to know they are being thought of and prayed for. Where do you find community?

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  1. Well said, CJ. It’s our nature to think of ourselves and our own security before the security of others. What you’ve seen is not just their pain but the pain affects the community as a whole.

    God grace on you as you love your neighbor as yourself.

    • Thanks Pastor Rich. Great to have church leaders/friends that further establish those values in us. Thanks for the prayer as well. See you next Sunday.

  2. bro, so true. I had a friend in seattle who had a brother returning from iraq.. went through all the war detox therapy, released.. shot himself. Messed up a whole family. But they have now rallied around the mother to run a fun run every year to promote soldiers immersion back into community.

    Unity around christ is soo the key, but i wonder more and more as i see more of this happen how do we rally around those who find community so foreign that its uncomfortable. Even when deep down inside they crave it?

    Your response to your community is inspiring.

    • Its definitely a bigger problem than must think and it’s great to see the family rally and find something to raise awareness for that problem. Its also hard to know when someone is uncomfortable even tho like you said “they crave it.” I think the simple and problem best answer is just love. Just love on them with a selfless attitude and trust God is working in them. Then be ready to share that community around Christ when they are ready. Great Blog by the way. Enjoyed It.

  1. January 4th, 2012

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