Brokenness to Community

A man named Jean Vanier wrote a tiny book entitled;
“From Brokenness to Community.”

This book can be life altering and the reason it is, is that this is a man who’s life was also altered. He invited to men with Down’s Syndrome to live with him after being a Naval officer.  This began a movement of residential homes known as L’Arche now throughout the world. It was here the Henri Nouwen and others discovered authentic pure love, yes the love of God in community with people who struggle to be self sufficient… depending on one another… community.

The following are excerpts directly from the book.  I will tell you that I gave this book to my friend Sia Boehler.  She wondered why  I gave it to her.  It took about a year, then she was asked to speak to a group of at risk teen girls to share with them.  What did she share?  Her own story of brokenness, no ego, no pride, just her own brokenness.

She then discovered any I gave her the book. She stayed in contact with at least one of the girls from that encounter.

Community brings liberation from demons  of fear, loneliness, hatred and egotism that shackle people. Liberation so that they can love, heal, and liberate others.

Community is a place of conflict.between togetherness and independence.  It’s initially painful to lose one’s independence to come into togetherness – not just “proximity.” To make decisions together and not alone. This is particularly painful in a world where we’re taught to be independent, and not needing anyone.

There is a loss of the aggressive competition cultivated in our society. Community gives space to others so that they can grow, rather than competing with them, and lording over them.

Belonging in community is a means to personal becoming. It is accepting the risk of dying to aggressiveness and rivalry, in order to discover a new freedom, a new way of giving life to others, but still belonging to others, becoming “one body” with them.

James 3
v18. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God, and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

BH/ Jean Vanier/Brokenness to Community

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