Building Community is a slow and gradual effort. It means making the effort to go to picnics in the park. It means showing up at the church yard sale and talking not only to the strangers but also to the people you know. It means hearing what’s right and what’s wrong in their lives. It means sharing the same. It means laughing at whatever nonsense occurs and soberly waiting for the hard news.
All in all, it’s a pretty amazing exercise.
And here’s the great thing, it makes life better. Building community is as much making life la vida local as is appreciating the local landscape.
Today I was thinking about it because I was working at the church yard sale. I ran into lots of my fellow members, no big surprise, but I ran into a whole bunch of people I knew from other places in my life. Nurses who cared for my parents, my 10th grade American History teacher, a woman who eats breakfast at the same diner that I do… someone I see when I go there, but we’ve never chatted. A dear friend that I never run into. It’s a rich and wonderful stew.
I’m an extrovert, so yard sales are overwhelming. Too many people and too much stuff. But hey, this contributes to my salary, so I’m going to be there. And it’s fabulous if tiring. And some people love doing this. Some love setting it up (some just do what they’re supposed to) and some love shopping (and some just hold purses!)
But all in all… it’s building community. And Building community is building Peace. And that? is a very good thing.