What makes a community work

I’m spending part of my morning today at the repair shop.
Golden Boy had a bad hiccup on Sunday. Since then I’ve borrowed
cars and limped around town. Fortunately I have some good friends
who have been more than willing to help. I will just tell you, I
know very little about cars. My dad did and he was willing to teach
me but I had more important things to do at the time. It’s days
like these that I wish I would have taken time to squeeze under the
hood with him. So when something breaks I take it to Oliver’s
Garage. It’s a mom and pop place. That phrase puts an image in your
head, doesn’t it? A wise & jovial old mechanic in the
garage and his sweet & saintly wife working the front desk.
Almost, but here the mom and pop are barely in their 30’s, which
provided a wonderful surprise on my first visit. I’ve thought a lot
lately about what makes a community work. I don’t think it’s just a
political or economic issue. A community works when people are free
to be who they are. Kids on jungle gyms, playing sports and taking
piano lessons…and the people who watch over, coach and teach
them. Teenagers figuring out who they are and being
squirrelly…and the people love and worry about them. Young adults
pursuing their vocations. Middle agers sorting through their
memories and navigating their changing roles. Older folks sharing
their wisdom and experience. I wonder if a lack of freedom is why
some communities of faith struggle. We tend to be more prone to
control and want conformity rather than turning people loose to be
who they’ve been created to be. What do you think?

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One thought on “What makes a community work

  1. If I knew I could be me and still be loved, I wouldn’t be
    afraid of being found out. I can only keep the charade up for so
    long before I tire and find another way to be ‘in’ community
    without risking exposure. Acceptance of where I am encourages me,
    or frees me, to become what I dream of becoming.

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