Community

Community lately has looked a lot different than it did a couple of months ago.  Personally, I am an introvert by heart, so when Covid 19 hit I rather happily hunkered down and enjoyed it.  For a while, anyway.  Soon, however, I began to realize that I missed Community much more than I had ever anticipated.  Now don’t get me wrong, I never want to go back to crazy life being over scheduled but I’ve missed a lot of things.  I’ve missed the warm feeling of belonging I get when I walk into church and am greeted by a friendly face.  I’ve missed picking my kids up from school and hearing about their interactions with friends and teachers throughout their day. I’ve missed having coffee with friends…so many things!  So as things have slowly opened back up, it has slowly felt like a new beginning, and I have discovered myself enjoying the little things.  Like the other day when I found myself smiling through my mask as I rushed the kids out to the car for their first orthodontist appointment in a long while.  I had actually missed saying, “Hurry or we’re gonna be late!”  It felt normal.  It felt good to be going back out among the community that we had no idea we were taking for granted just a few short weeks ago.  And I think they missed us, too, because the normally happy orthodontist staff was exceptionally friendly (or maybe in my dreamy state of euphoria over being “outside” again I just imagined that)!

During this time I have thought a lot about King David’s life.  His community changed several times throughout his life.  He went from his normal life of tending sheep and being the youngest of 8 boys, to suddenly being anointed king.  It wasn’t, however, his time yet to reign.  Instead, he soon found the community as he knew it began to shift and eventually found himself with a few other jobs other than just watching his father’s sheep.  He was recommended to play his harp for King Saul to help calm him and then quickly gained popularity when God used him to kill a giant named, Goliath.  I mean, how could you miss that?! That giant went down with one stone and a sling!  David was not only popular among the people, he was also well loved and respected in whatever position he was put in.  He even became best friends with the king’s son, Jonathan. Life was good! Or so it seemed.  One day, the security he had found among the royal community suddenly became unstable when King Saul heard some women singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” (1 Samuel 18:7b).  Uh oh!  So, King Saul became extremely jealous and angry of David and he soon found himself dodging spears that were meant to “…pin David to the wall!” (1 Samuel 18:11a).  From then on his relationship with Saul was touch and go.  David married, Michal, King Saul’s daughter, but even this was intended by the king to be a snare.  However, all of King Saul’s conniving for David to fail didn’t work, and eventually, Michal and Jonathan helped David escape King Saul’s wrath.  David had to leave all he knew, and the people he loved the most, to go into hiding.  He probably could have rallied enough people on his side to go against King Saul but he respected God’s anointed and chose not to harm him.  During this time of turmoil and solitude, away from those he loved, he turned to the One who had always stood by his side.  At first, David was overwhelmed and began to ask God to search his heart. If he had done anything wrong to help bring himself into this situation, he asked that God would allow him to be overtaken by his enemy. I love David’s honesty with God, don’t you? He rarely held anything back.  In the quietness, with the enemy not far away, he came to a place of peace.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me

To eat up my flesh,

My enemies and foes,

They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me,

My heart shall not fear;

Though war may rise against me,

In this I will be confident.  (Psalm 27:1-3)

I know this time we’re going through has been hard.  I know we all miss having Community as we once knew it, but at the center of our Community, has to be the knowledge that no matter what, God is in control.  We are not alone.  God hasn’t changed and I believe if we keep the faith, our Community can rise up, and pull together, stronger than ever.   “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD.” (Psalm 121:1-2a)
By Mary Miller

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