In the midst of chaos and feelings of ‘not enough’, I find community.
Every Tuesday, I end my busiest day with a community dinner with my house family. For two hours every week, we sit together, share a meal, and allow ourselves to be present.
Some weeks are harder than others to engage, but as the semester closes, it seems that my shoulders are continually holding more weight, making it a struggle to simply be.
Tonight, I sat in a room with 20 of my house family members, many of whom were probably thinking about the million things they needed to do after dinner, just like I was, as we were waiting for our meal to begin.
As I looked around, I thought to myself, ‘how lucky am I’?
Every single person around the room has a different story, one that is beautiful and reflects the talents and gifts and graces God has named for them. And I get to be present with these amazing people, living among them, sharing life with them every day.
Even though talk of privilege is all around me in seminary, times like tonight are when I actually see my privilege on this small scale, sitting on beat up couches with 20 of my closest friends and colleagues.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a communal space on the second floor, and I can literally feel God working in this place.
I see people coming up and down the stairs, helping carry dirty dishes from our meals to the kitchen, serving without asking for anything in return.
I hear laughter coming from downstairs, where our international students are teaching me that joy doesn’t need translation.
Some of my friends are singing worship songs next door, demonstrating a spirit of worship that goes beyond the walls of a sanctuary.
All around me, I feel a sense of community. I feel a sense of family.
The book I’m reading for my evangelism class is all about re-imagining what it means to be the church. Every single day, this community has taught me that I am living what the church needs to be.
Church is full of people who are so imperfect, and also are immensely valuable and talented. Church is a realization that both the imperfections and gifts are needed, and are celebrated.
To be in a space where neither laughter or tears, or laughter that leads to tears, needs an apology-That is a blessing. That is the kingdom of God.
As much as I tell myself that I need my own space (introvert time, I call it), I know that I can find the love of God in the people around me, always willing to give what they have, which is so much.
For that I am grateful.