A few years ago I was engaged. About a week after he asked me if I wanted to marry him he broke up with me. About a week after that he became engaged to someone else.
For the next several months I was a mess. You see, I made the mistake of trying to remain friends with my ex and his new fiancée. (But that is a story for another day.)
I don’t think that I would have gotten through those months if it hadn’t been for the friends that the Lord sent my way during that time.
During that time, I was living in a city that when I moved there I didn’t know anybody. Well, nobody except the man (the boy?) that I was dating.
One of the things that I can thank my ex for is the church family that he introduced to me.
In the months following our break-up, they truly became a family to me. They taught me what it was like to be a part of a community that loved God and loved each other.
Our lives together were messy. I was struggling with the break-up. Another family was struggling financially. Another family was struggling to keep their marriage alive.
But I knew that when I needed them I could call up anyone of them and they would be there for me.
It seems like that kind of community or family is rare in the church anymore.
We don’t want to get involved in each other’s lives. We let our pride get in the way and put on masks.
We have been hurt and are afraid of being hurt again. We put up walls.
But the church is not supposed to be a place where we wear masks and put up walls.
The church is supposed to be a place where the hurt go for healing.
A place where love is given and received.
And that is how true community is built…it is built through love.