Two sisters in their seventies gave me comfort when I was pregnant with my second child who would be born 13 months after my first. I overheard one of them saying that when they were growing up, people always asked their father if they were twins. They were not, but they were not quite a year apart. People would then ask, “So why did you name them Jean and Jane?” Their father would reply, “Didn’t have enough time to think of anything else.” I thought the world of these women and knowing how close they were in age helped me realize my children would be alright.
Another woman also gave me comfort unknowingly. She came to church with her family one Sunday for “Homecoming Sunday” from wherever they had moved. Right in the pew in front of me, they came in one by one – quintuplets! Suddenly, two seemed like no problem at all.
Two people, not related, came to church every Sunday, dragging their portable air canisters with them. In a culture when many let any excuse keep them from worship, these two let nothing stand in their way. Every week, they inspired me.
So much of the impact that community has had on me has been from these type of silent testimonies, through observation.
We are mostly in a different space now. There are some who are worshiping together with precautions and many who are back at work. Still there are many of us who are still limiting our exposure to others. For me, it has meant that I have lost some of the connections and gatherings of community. Yet through this loss, I have discovered that true community can be found online. Through Zoom, I have taken part in several types of gatherings. My favorite is a weekly time of prayer with people spread across Tennessee. Some I knew and others were new to me. With the willingness to be vulnerable before each other and in prayer, I have discovered such depths of wisdom and strength, that I know I am growing in faith and understanding. I thank God for this blessing. I am hopeful that people will continue to find ways to develop community in new and safe ways. Let’s trust that God is doing a new thing right here among us!