Stepping Into Community

As part of our twelve days celebration last month Rob gave me a pair of slippers. More as a joke than anything, they were leopard print and fuzzy. And, as it turns out, warm and comfy so I wore them all the time. I also washed them frequently and needless to say they didn’t hold up well so I had to get a new pair. Sadly the feisty print was unavailable and I ended up with somewhat the same style only in pink and not fuzzy. They’ll do I suppose but I liked the fuzzy warmth of the other pair and truthfully the sassy print was fun to wear.

I’m not really a good shoe shopper. I know what I like when I see it on other people’s feet but I really don’t have a great perspective when looking at them on my own feet. Then there is the whole fit thing. Some shoes will be just darling but the hurt like crazy…just uncomfortable. Others are so cute they make me wish I was the kind of person that could wear them but frankly I just look silly in them. Like those high top Converse sneakers. I think they are so cute but I just can’t pull them off…they’re not me. Or cowboy boots. Love ’em on other people but no way could I wear them without knowing that I was wearing them every moment they were on my feet and they would be the only thing I was thinking about. Then there are the ones that I like and they fit but there’s still that initial newness that has to be broken in for them to be a really good comfortable fit. Of course once in a while you find a pair that is the perfect fit and feels like a dream on your feet from the first moment.
Our church is about to do a study on community and friendship. It’s already generated a lot of helpful, and somewhat uncomfortable, conversations. I’ve been thinking that oddly enough finding community can be a lot like finding the right pair of shoes. I’ve come across some communities that, while I can see how other people fit there, I know I just don’t. I’m not comfortable there even though I can see the beauty there. 
Other communities I am really drawn too. I love peeking into different worlds and maybe even stepping into them for a bit but they aren’t me. I don’t belong there and like the cowboy boots if I try to make a place there I pretty much can’t even walk a straight line because I am starring at my own feet.
And then there is the community that does fit. Where I do belong. Only it’s not that slide your foot into the shoe and it’s like walking on a cloud perfect fit. Because, let’s be honest, that doesn’t happen all the time. That kind of fit is rare and should be treasured. It’s the fit between a husband and wife or that very best friend that is as close to you as it is possible for a friend to be. 
I’m talking about the kind of community that you look around and see it’s good. Solid and well made. Sturdy and ready to help you climb the mountains of life with sure footedness, slog through the mud in the valleys, and dance in the meadows. But there’s that slight stiffness up front. Not the kind that comes from an ill fit, but more the kind that comes from being new. It’s the give and take as your foot finds it’s place and the shoe conforms to it’s shape. It takes a little wear to smooth it out and make it the comfortable place that it can be.
It’s the kind of community where on the surface there may not be much in common…different walks of life, different stages of life, etc. But there is just good stuff happening. There’s love and fellowship that goes deep despite those differences. It’s the kind of community that makes you a better person because it encourages and it confronts. It forgives and it nurtures.
It’s the kind of community that’s worth the work of fitting in.

Titus 2 Tuesday

10 thoughts on “Stepping Into Community

  1. I loved reading this! I had never thought of community fitting like a shoe, but it really does! Great reminder to work through that initial newness when you find the right fit. Thanks! -Tabitha (


  2. Your post puts feet (wink) to this quote from Calvin: \”It is certainly the duty of a Christian man to ascend higher than merely to seek and secure the salvation of his own soul…If we wish to belong to Christ, let no man be anything for himself. But let us all be whatever we are for each other.\”-John Calvinlove,~sg


  3. I've learned that some communities that just don't fit – are because God has not called me to be there. There are people He needs you and I to minister there – and the \”not fitting\” just shepherds us along to the right place! It is often an unexpected fit! There sure are a lot of cute shoes out there – I'm with you – so many I like but I just cannot carry that look!


  4. What a great analogy! It explains perfectly trying to find the \”perfect fit\” in community. It actually relieves some pressure, too! We are all made uniquely and that's what makes life interesting!Blessings, Joan


  5. It's much better for us if we don't surround ourselves with people who are exactly like us…we need to differences to add texture and color to our lives I think 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


  6. Your description of a great community sounds just like my co-workers at my church, where I am employed. I have worked in MANY different environments, most have not the best fit of personalities, working together. But, for the past 1 and a half years, I have felt so blessed to work with a wonderful group of people….your last full paragraph in your post describes them pretty much to a T. I love working there because I feel like I \”fit\” with that \”community\” of people. We are all different, but have that shared faith. Then to top it off, our jobs all deal with helping those in need in the community of believers and non-believers, as a whole! Great post!


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