A wise beyond her years, Catholic Nun, once gave me the following statement in answer to my question. “A group is what a group is. No one person determines or controls a group. They are what they are.”
At the time, I thought that she has misunderstood my question about an upcoming weekend retreat. In the years since I received her insight as a gift, I have come to appreciate the wisdom that is contained within it words. Even as I have tried to control a team, her words have echoed in my mind. Throughout my attempts to manipulate the relationships between individuals that were together, her words have been the voice of a wisdom father with a contrary view. As I grapple with my fears about the future, I remember the gentle eyes and compassion I experienced with Rosemary. A community is what a community is.
Often, I catch myself thinking that I am somehow outside the frame of a community. I alone know what is right. I alone understand where we need to go. I alone. It is never about us.
I rest my case on the community that is also a mob. When I read words about how “by this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood”, (Acts 16.22) I wonder where reason was hiding.
It my more reflective moments, I see how community continues to touch and influence my life and the life of those I love. Our strength rests outside of ourselves. It comes from God and those supporting our journeys. Our vision is greater than our eyes. It is the collective insights gained form many perspectives. Our power is more than the sum of its parts. It is the mystery emerging when two or more work as one.
We live in a chaotic time. Hardships and struggles are a given in your life and mine. Pain is real. Yet, we are never alone. We have invitations to be part of community(s). The first is with God. The second is with those you will touch today.