Two years ago I would have told you those were all integral parts of me, but my work as a community developer and my time in Scripture has caused me to question if those characteristics can be a part of the woman God created me to be.
In Genesis 1 God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Our mysterious three persons and yet one God made us in His image.
In the Gospels I see Jesus surrounding Himself with twelve disciples and growing particularly close to three.
I also see Jesus silently enduring abandonment and denial by His beloved disciples, as well as mocking and abuse by His enemies. It is not until He is hanging on the cross that I hear him crying out in agony. The cry arises not from sheer physical torture, but rather from the agony of being forsaken by God – from experiencing the withdraw of the companionship He had known before the beginning of time.
I wonder if my desire and need to be self-sufficient has hindered my ability both to be the woman God created me to be, as well as to be a light in this broken world. And I wonder if living in community is one way we are called to glorify God and to display His image.
Community is a group of interacting people living in a common location. Community at its core involves people coming together and having an effect on each other. I believe God created us to need each other – to need to function and work as a body. We each have our own task, our personalities, but we are stronger when we come together.
The more I work to build community in South Atlanta the more I believe that a functioning healthy community – whether it be amongst a family, church, office or neighborhood – is developed as we each grow in our relationship with the LORD and are daily conformed in His image.
As I grow to understand the depths of God’s patience, love and forgiveness for me, my ability to extend patience, love and forgiveness for others grow.