Sunday, May 24, 2020

Day 30: Community

This post brought to you by ONE MONTH of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload.  And conversations with my favorite (and only) older brother.

In all honesty, I had every intent on writing this earlier.  In fact, I actually started this post something like 8 hours ago.  But, as so commonly happens, I got utterly distracted, and so, am getting around to writing it now.

C’est la vie, right?

Sometimes quarantine makes me think, and I’m not sure I’ll have the skill to put my thoughts into words, but I guess I’ll try.

Community isn’t something that comes easy to me.  I’m a bit of a loner, and I honestly pride myself in that fact.  It’s not that I don’t like people - even if somedays I try my best to convince them of that. It’s just easier to not let people in.  I mean, after all, if no one knows me, no one can hurt me, right?

And so, I try to keep most everyone at a distance - telling myself that what feels safer for me is better for them too.

While it may not be true, it’s really sort of beautiful.  Because when no one gets close, it’s easy to believe that who I am, what I say, and what I do doesn’t matter.  And when nothing matters, life comes easy.

With quarantine life, I feel like there’s been a lot of talk about community - some communities using this as a time to grow stronger, others feeling so utterly alone because all connections have been lost.

Me?
I don’t even know.

Before COVID hit, I didn’t necessarily have a booming social life.  Sure, I had engagements that I enjoyed that seemed to keep me busy most every night of the week, to the point that I had convinced myself that maybe this was the way to “live in community” like I’d so often been encouraged to do.   But, they didn’t necessarily define me.

And then came the shutdown when everything came to a screeching halt.

Suddenly, all these engagements were gone, and I was left on my own.
At first, it felt weird.
But, with every passing day, I came to love the silence - the solitude.
To the point where I honestly don’t want it to end (which, may be a problem considering my chosen career).

I’ll admit - that makes me feel guilty.
Shouldn’t I want to run back to everything that has been lost?
Shouldn’t I miss the life I was living before?
And, why? Why don’t I?
What does that say about me?

I don’t have all the answers - or, probably any of them.
All I know is that I love it here.

The topic of community bothers me the most when I think about church.
Community is something that I feel like is often highly emphasized in the context of the church - and righty so.  The message of Christ was to love God and love others - and it’s pretty hard to do that within a bubble.

But if I’m honest, I haven’t listened to a service since Easter.
I don’t listen to the devotions that are posted daily on social media.
I don’t follow along in the books that I’m supposed to be reading for studies.
I don’t miss going to church.

And so, when I hear people talk about their concern that COVID is going to change the church atmosphere forever because people will back out of community for the sake of convenience, I can’t help but turn in shame, because I don’t have to look hard to know that that’s me.

It’s what I’ve done all my life.
And I have a million and half arguments to make it sound good, like - “if you’re not connected with people you’re really not in community anyway”, and, “you don’t need to be in a church to grow in faith” - both of which I feel are true.
But neither of these change the simple reality that we weren’t made to do life alone - even on the days when it feels like that’s what we prefer.

Admittedly, I have no idea what this may look like as the days, weeks, and months pass by.  As they do though, I’m grateful for the little communities that I still find myself in.

Annnd I’m tired of writing.
Night y’all.

-Hannah

Question of the Day: Are you ready for COVID to end yet?
Challenge of the Day: Run a mile.
Photo of the Day:

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