Okay it's true, community is hell, sometimes - Jesus Army Life, Day 311

One of the things I've realised about community life is that if you share it with people who really don't want community (regardless of whether they live in the community or not) it becomes absolute hell.

Consider how many would not want to share their home with strangers in the first place - many have trouble sharing it with those they love. Sharing your home with those who simply don't want to love you, when you're doing your best to love them, is somewhat exhausting, not to mention entirely and completely, mindboglingly crazy.

This really can apply to those who live outside the community too. People can come round for all sorts of reasons other than Jesus; and where there is disregard for everything you as a people hold dear it is a nightmare. The atmosphere will be tense, people are holding their breath just waiting for the moment to pass, leaders are at their wit's end... again.

I'm not saying you have to be into Jesus to come round, many aren't and that's okay. But it does help if you appreciate that the community exists for a particular purpose. Christians believe that God's grace is available to everyone, the good and the evil. It's when you deliberately don't want to receive that grace that there's a problem. We, in community, can't really offer anything else.

In other words if you do live in community (as one non-community sage pointed out to me last night) you're going to get your heart broken.

And here's the rub: as a Christian you have to be willing to throw yourself into that situation again and again, because you have to be willing to trust that Christ will work in people. And of course he does. If I've started this blog entry somewhat negatively then let me end positively and say that we've seen some beautiful people walk through our doors and leave with even more beautiful hearts, quickened by the grace of God.