How many times is our spiritual growth stunted by not alienating ourselves from community. . . but by expecting too much of it, and then becoming disappointed?
What Community Doesn’t Do
I’m a huge fan of community. I write and preach about how important and essential I believe it is quite often. But today I want to remind you of what community doesn’t do.
In Clowning in Rome (which I highly recommend) Henri Nouwen wrote:
We constantly feel tempted to want more from those around us than they can give. We relate to our neighbors with the hope and the supposition that they are able to fulfill most of our deepest needs, and then we find ourselves disillusioned, angry, and frustrated when they do not.
We know when we expect someone else to…
take our pain away
understand us completely
that we are expecting something which cannot be given by another human being. But while we know this is illogical our loneliness and brokenness still pushes us to expect it anyway leaving us disillusioned and angry.
There are some things community just can’t do.