In the later years of my youth, my family started a winter tradition.
On the coldest day of the year, we would treat ourselves to Dairy Queen blizzards. ( Or in my Dad’s case, a strawberry sundae).
How did we determine what the coldest day was? We just kind of winged it.
In this lovely, snowy, icy city, it is a balmy -33 degrees Celsius. With a wind chill of -41 degrees Celsius. So I texted my husband:
“… I think we need to get DQ tonight.”
He thought it was an excellent idea.
So I eagerly await our ice cream date.
Although, thinking about it is making me kind of cold…
This word is constantly rolling around in my mind. Maybe because in the last few years, I have begun to see what a major and positive impact community, and being part of one, has had on my life. I could go so far as to say that it is one of the top reasons my husband and I,
a) Love the church we attend.
b) Would be hesitant to move away.
(Even though home looks like THIS lately…
Gah – December, and I am so done with snow! )
Every so often, I feel a tug to BE community.
Does that make sense?
I am constantly blessed with being part of a community; a family, church family, friends, etc., but I admit to not often being the initiator of community, or the inviter. For example, as someone who has attended the same church for the past few years, I should be the one saying ‘Hello’ to unfamiliar faces; I should be the one making others feel welcome; helping newcomers feel a sense of belonging.
Instead, it is almost like I’m still waiting for the invite. Like I’m the newcomer standing in the corner, hoping someone will say ‘Hi’ to me so I don’t feel painfully awkward and out-of-place.
What prompted this post in the first place, was that a ‘newcomer’ approached me; she extended an invitation to me. Said ‘Hi’ to me.
But not in church.
On my street.
I was just finishing up with shovelling the driveway, my glasses askew, my hair sticking up every which way, and my face all rosy from the cold, when a woman approached me with a card.
She wasn’t a Jehovah’s witness. She wasn’t trying to sell me anything or get me to join some club.
She was simply new to the neighborhood, and was inviting ME over to her open house get together this weekend.
“Oh, how nice!” I said. I hope it didn’t sound insincere; my social skills could use a little polishing…
Nevertheless, I think I might go. I think I should go.
I don’t know this woman. I don’t know what her beliefs are, or what her religion is. But she is opening up her home to complete strangers.
Christian or not, that’s love. That is being community.
Maybe I can learn a thing or two from her.