Living in Community

The companionship, love and support of “others” over several tough years have really made a difference in my life.  I was about to say of “friends.”  But, in reflecting, it has often been total strangers, people I just meet who have reached out in amazing gestures and words of comfort and wisdom that have brought strength exactly when I needed it most.  I often refer to these as “God moments,” times and ways that God meets me and uses others to help me when I was at my lowest points.  Sometimes God uses people to help even unknowingly on their parts.

I have often been surprised by who among the people in my life has shown the greatest compassion and been the greatest help and who has not.  I’m sure there are lots of contributing factors as to what and how others give of themselves to me, the amount of time they have, their feelings for me, their depth of feeling about the whole issue of divorce, and sometimes just plain timing.  But I’ve observed that the depth of compassion people have for the pain of others varies greatly and often has been deepened by their own painful experiences, which may or may not have been divorce.  My gratitude for those individuals has changed me.  It has created in me a greater awareness of the needs of others, and a deeper desire to give back, to be a compassionate helper and presence for others in whatever type of pain they are experiencing in their lives.  You know the saying “it takes a community to raise a child.”  Well to me more deeply than ever before, life has to be lived in community.  It is our role to focus more outside of ourselves and to daily give and receive help to the “others” in life, whether that be family, friends, or total strangers.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”   Audrey Hepburn

Guest blog submitted by Brenda.