The language veiled her words, but tears told her broken story. I understood the words abuse, hunger, and homelessness. All foreign despite my ability to translate. But there were familiar words too. Sorrow. Depression. Fear. Her story was a world apart in many ways, yet ultimately not unlike my own and yours.
In the end, every woman's heart longs for the same love.
Her moist eyes shined as she talked of strength and friendship found with Colleen and the other women at the mission. Laughing, she said men don't understand women like women do. How could they?
A community of women who break and bind, cry and laugh, and live and love in the security and truth of their Father's love is unsurpassed in its power to heal and empower.
It's so easy to complicate it.
Is the house clean enough? Is the couch new enough? Will they like the food? Is my outfit in style? Does my hair look okay? We can consume ourselves with fears of rejection and have nothing left to share.
How do we get community so wrong?
When they measure themselves by themselves
and compare themselves with themselves,
they lack wisdom and behave like fools.
~2 Corinthians 10:12
Jesus gives us another model, as He meets us at the point of our need.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
but in humility count others
more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death, even death on a cross.
There's a freedom hidden in humility that is as rare and precious as gold. It releases us from the tyranny of trying to control the thoughts, opinions, and judgments of others—something totally outside of our realm.
In this freedom and relinquishing our own interests, we discover community, compassion, and genuine care.
I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
Through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
And to wipe the weeping eyes;
And a heart at leisure from itself,
To soothe and sympathize.
~Anna Laetitia Waring