We All Need Community

We all need community, especially when we
feel most abandoned and alone.

A touching moment happened today during the prayers of the people in worship. A woman elder asked for prayers for her neighbor, a man in his 80’s who is being moved from his apartment to an assisted living facility under duress. He can’t care for his apartment and authorities have taken the decision to move him.

What frightens the member of our community is her vulnerability and loss of independence as a senior. She lives alone in public housing and knows that she’s at risk to the same loss of independence. She wept as she asked for prayers for her friend, but I believe the tears were also for herself. Her fear.

We all need to know we won’t be abandoned when we most need help. The recent events in New Orleans revealed to us as a society how we have abandoned poor people, seniors, children, physically challenged. It’s not only in New Orleans, however. It’s true wherever we do not intentionally work to create communities in which all people feel included.

Instead, we so revere individualism that we don’t see it’s dark side–abandonment of those who don’t, or can’t, live productively without a little help from the rest of us. Some of us don’t even see why this should matter to us.

I thank goodness for a church that understands its mission is to reach out to those who are forgotten by the society. No one should have to live in fear of being abandoned.

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