Thursday, November 11, 2010

Community Away from Community

The clock was minutes away from striking five pm, the mark of the end of the typical work day. My job, however, is far from being typical. Our inter-religious faith sharing group, which I am responsible for facilitating, was meeting later in the evening and I had an hour to figure out what to do for dinner. Driving home between events is no longer a possibility; I am no longer living ten minutes away. In fact adding it all up I've come to realize I drive close to 200 miles a week, putting me in my car for about an hour to an hour and half each day. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

From 2006-2008 I lived and worked at the same place, I put less than 10,000 miles on my car per year and that INCLUDED driving back and forth from Dayton, OH to West Chester, PA to visit family. To say the least I had become spoiled. So, back in August when it was shared with me that I would have a "longer" commute I was all but throwing a temper tantrum. Actually if I'm really honest with myself, I did throw a temper tantrum, I just did it by myself behind closed doors!

In some ways I think my humanness gets in the way of the Holy Spirit. Yes, it is definitely tiresome and frustrating to have the commute that I have (especially given the nature of my work, it's not exactly nine to five), and in many ways it makes this time difficult. I sometimes feel like I am unable to please people because I am pulled in so many directions. BUT, at the same time, I would not want to change my living situation for the world. It's an odd paradox in which I find myself.

But in this paradoxical existence I have discovered yet another aspect of community living for which I have become most grateful, and that is my community away from community. Sisters Pat and Eileen have been more than gracious to me in giving me a place to rest in the in-between. They have fed me, given me shelter, and a place to lay my head when my ministry becomes demanding in ways that make traveling home difficult. I can only imagine how thankful I will be if we have the winter we had last year! 45 minutes on icy roads is just not how I want to spend my winter months!

Their generosity of spirit and hospitality has made me to realize the beauty of community. My local community is immensely important to me, but they are a part of the whole that makes this life worth living. Just because my technical address/residence is here does not mean that it is the only place I can experience as "home."

A home is something beyond the brick that makes this house, home is a sense of family and belonging. Whether I am in Delaware, across the street from work, or having dinner with other local communities I have found home.

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