By Nancy Virden (c)2021
One thing has emerged out of the pandemic, and that is the ability of strangers to relate to each other. We all share a common threat to what and whom we care about most.
When I lived near the east coast, very few southeast Pennsylvanians seemed to understand my northeastern Ohio ways. One day in Pennsylvania I took cupcakes to a meeting for my birthday. People looked at me quizzically, almost pitifully. Someone said, “Why? Isn’t this supposed to be your day?” I do not know anyone in my Ohio town who would respond with such shock. They’d be grabbing those goodies!
A teacher asked a question yesterday. “What is community?” Community is more than groups of people; a fully functioning community has to have something in common that all members care about. It could be surfing or doctoring. It could be love for a neighborhood or shared faith. It might be a shared pandemic.
Community is comfortable much of the time because of familiarity, and a sense of safety with each other near. In the 1990s I formed an unofficial “Virden Mart” on my street, letting a few neighbors know that if they needed to borrow anything like milk, a lawnmower or whatever at the last minute, they could ask me. Funny how quickly this went in reverse, and I too have helpful neighbors to count on.
For the community experience, people must take time to be on each other’s radars. We take an interest in the other person’s story, and in a church, we need even more robust connections. Kindness and friendliness break awkwardness and plant a seed of community that can grow.
During this pandemic (not to blow human patience out of proportion), people are helping each other in new ways. Relatability, when we let it, is an open door to building community where we know we belong. – COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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