Jesus Army Life - Being broken

Community-life is a certifiably amazing experience. We've just had one person say farewell, when another decides to stay. It brings a lot of life to the house when new people who are with you are discovering the magic of sharing their complete life with others they only slightly know.

But what happens when you've been round the block several times already? And what about when you're actually worn out from doing too much and no longer feel that magic about the place? How amazing can it be then?

I reckon that everyone who lives in a community-house will go through a time of brokenness at some point, for many it will be several times over. (How else can you deal with pouring of you life and heart for someone and it still not working out? - Stay with me here, there's a happy ending...) It all comes out the refusal-to-hide-from-life experience that shared-community is. You choose to love, it doesn't work out how you planned; you have a choice to either run away, or somehow learn to keep going. Somehow you have to find the will to love again, to forgive, and to hope again. It's not all that easy, I speak from experience.

One of the most beautiful things for me is realising that there is a fresh place to store my hope where it will never be crushed. I would write more on this, but all I know right now is that Jesus has promised to return, and in His promise is the assurance of a greater day to which all hope points. Heaven is the home of hope and all that we do now, all our courage and love, is spent in the knowledge that one day it will be worth it. Crucially, knowing that I can trust God with the most precious part of me I feel able to give to others.

Without the will to be available for other people and their needs, community-living can be a nightmare because you don't feel you have enough energy for yourself, let alone anyone else. But if you can stick it out until you find the wherewithal to give again it once more becomes a beautiful, wonder-filled, laughter-lined experience. You can enjoy other people because there is the buoyancy within you to do so.

John-Paul Sartre said hell is other people. I beg to differ. I think 'other people' is where you begin to discover heaven.