It’s one of the emo nights. The thoughts just came. And then the feelings. So I need to blog.
While cycling with dad today, we cycled past many people. There were the usual joggers and cyclists. There were groups of people just chilling and hanging out in the parks. There were people fishing. There were people just walking and talking.
I’m not sure about y’all, but I sometimes think that we church-goers have a monopoly on deep conversations. We pride ourselves on our HTHTs and our sharings. We look at various groups of people chatting, and we dismiss their conversatiosn as worldly and superficial. And then we dare to make our depth our selling point when we proselytize, as if those without a religious background are incapable of it.
Today, I cycled past two guys walking along the park connector. They were having a chat. It looked like a pretty deep chat. They looked like pretty good friends.
So here’s the rebel thought: I would like to live without community for a period of time.
Not now, not in the near future. But some time. Year 4 maybe. I don’t intend it as a break. I intend it as an exchange – for a semester, 6 months, a year.
I would like to experience the deep conversations that are more transient and thus perhaps more precious, because I can never know whether that person will last in my life. I would like to form the deep relationships without the comfort and security of commitment and accountability. I would like to reach out to persons I am drawn to but would not normally do so because of the assurance of community as all the support I need.
I would like to leave this ivory tower, this womb, this shelter – and cling on to my faith as I struggle with the world, in the world.
Because perhaps, we who live in community do not really live fully in the world. We live in a safe space – an environment of controlled hurts and managed struggles. We never go to the pubs to drown our sorrows in drink, and thus never avail ourselves to the random-person-that-shares-a-drink-with-you-who-later-becomes-your-soulmate. We don’t have all the answers, but we are ridiculously comfortable with telling each other that we don’t have all the answers. We are bereft of the Atlasian honor of being crushed by the world, because there are so many other hands to support it for us.
So yes, I would cut the connections that ground me. I would make space in my life for others – the acquaintances, the circumstantial ‘friends’, the spontaneous encounters that can leave us more changed in minutes than a lifetime of journeying could.
And then perhaps, when I return (for it is inconceivable that this can be anything more than a matter of time), I’ll truly appreciate what great treasure we have here. I’ll love community more, but need community less.
P.S. No, I’m hardly certain about this. Yes, I will consult Jude first (on top of the usual authorities) if I do decide to embark on this.