If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV
This past 5 days I’ve been at a loss for words. Everyone is shocked and saddened by the Parkland news right here in our backyard. Life as we knew it instantly changed. Even though flashing lights, helicopters, reporters, flowers, and candles will fade away, through the tears and memories we have become a stronger community.
The word community is defined as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common,” but we became so much more then that definition. As people have come together to grieve and take action for what needs to be done, the people have become a stronger community.
Community allows people to be real. Community allows people to be accepted. Community allows each other to share burdens. Community lends a helping hand and a listening ear. Community offers guidance and direction when needed. Within community we can laugh yet cry and that’s okay. In community when people are vulnerable to life, friends come alongside and help them stand firm. It is through community that we will continue to be successful and prosper.
People grieve in different ways. Some people are vocal, some appear angry, some can only cry, yet everyone has a different story and they are all important to share. It is important to allow people to express their feelings and be heard. This will be a time of healing. By sharing your feelings you will be able to better understand each other and not feel alone. I learned when you share your sorrow it will be halved and when you share your joys it will be doubled. It works! Talk about your thoughts and how this has impacted your life then create a plan how you will move forward. Your behaviors may want to be directed by your emotions at times, but with community by your side you will be better equipped to rise above the situations. Not saying you won’t have trials and sorrows but you will be able to look at them in a different light with the help of community. When the memories flare in the days, months and years ahead that make you feel like you can’t go on, the community will help you endure.
The Bible calls us to be part of a community of believers (1 Corinthians 12:12; John 13:34; Matthew 18:20; Galatians 6:2). A community that unites with others, loves one another, prays with and for each other, and helps each other grow. Do not be isolated. Be part of the community. You may not realize what you have to offer (even when you yourself are hurting) but it is exactly what someone else needs. Hug someone today and be part of their community. The Lord will allow you and others to be placed within a community that together you will be able to relate and grow.
In remembering the angels that have been laid to rest within the past week, we can only remember their sense of humor, grace, determination and passion, personality and their lives they left behind. The loss is heart-wrenching so therefore we can only be thankful we knew them and their stories and desire to live differently because of them.
To everyone who has been affected by this, know you are part of a community that is here for you. If you would like to personally contact me, please use the contact tab on the top of the page.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it! Hebrews 13:1-2 (NLT)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:4-5 (NLT)
(The post this week was extremely hard to write. So many words did not seem appropriate and feared it could be misunderstood so I would like to give a special shout out to my daughter who helped me with starting the topic of this post. Thank you!)