By Jimmy McCarty
Have you seen my towel?
Are you finished with the clothesline?
Are you going into town any time soon?
Are you going to finish that?
Organized pandemonium characterizes the community living we have been a part of the last several weeks. We are fifty individuals living as one, eating as one and being as one. Individuality blurs with the assimilation of inside jokes, catch phrases, memories of events we encountered yesterday. This results in conformity, a unity, a community.
The health of this environment is in its commitment to growth, honesty and vulnerability. Those traits define who we are as a unit. Our conversations go from intense introspection to humorous superficiality and have become the lifeblood of this community.
Personal space has been confined to the slab of plywood on which we sleep and even that is interrupted by the barking of dogs, screeching of foreign birds, random snores and sleep noises from roommates.
It is the norm for personal space to be restricted to the solace of headphones and many defend that solitude with a passion. We are aware of the need for time alone and retreat from the noise and confusion of a large group setting.
Yet, deep down, none of us would want to be anywhere else. We covet and long for community such as this. This is a place where victories are celebrated, where breakthroughs are expected and where life change is frequent.
The encouragement, chastisement and ultimate accountability of a group of believers sharing space away from the comforts of American life lead us to a silence of soul and mind that draws us closer to the heart of Christ. At any moment the all-hands-on-deck cry might be issued to draw our community into prayer.
Nothing is more beautiful, more peaceful or more holy than the petition and praise of the body to glorify the Almighty God. Never has the voice of God been clearer or his presence more apparent. At the beginning of time, God said, It is not good for man to be alone.
Maybe, just maybe, this is because the design of humanity, the design of deity even, communes in a holy way, a method unavailable to the individual heart.
What is community? Community is living in Mexico celebrating birthdays by hitting a piata and eating cake, and thats what Im going to go do.