community. man, i haven't heard that word bandied about in a while. we used to say it so much at Regent that it really didn't hold much meaning for me after a while. sometimes the community there was cloying, much like spending too much time with your own family in a small space like on a road trip.
of course, in a school setting, community is served up on a platter. misery loves company to some degree - makes me think of the many times i've stayed up far too late at the last minute working on papers - at least i knew the weed was suffering along with me, or annie when we'd share a table and frantic looks on our faces typing our thesis projects. then we'd all go to the pub, or to mac's late at night for junk food.
and now? well now, i actually have to go out looking for community. the horror! not something easy for me the introvert. yesterday ashley had to serve in the prayer room after church and i loitered around for her before dinner. i haven't felt that self conscious about not knowing anyone in a long long time. i even had a brief awkward courtesy conversation with some well-meaning soul, and i wanted to run away. chalk it up to my social anxiety disorder (is that a real thing? i made it up one day and liked how it sounded). but then i talked to some people that had actually spent some time at regent, and their faces lit up with recognition. and that somehow was like a lifeline - i'm slowly realizing how out of community i am and how much i miss it. actually the whole service was quite encouraging in ways that i hadn't encountered in a while, not since i had left vancouver. for one, i actually agreed with their theology, which, you know, is nice.
mostly i was reassured to find having values and things in common with people that i thought i wouldn't be able to find quite so easily. which i haven't been able to find, and was afraid i wouldn't find; i thought maybe regent had made me more of an stranger in a strange land than i already was, being a christian and all.
the church is hosting this conference "jesus and evangelical power" and the speakers are from uganda, el salvador, cairo and calcutta. i'm quite impressed. voices from the majority world telling american evangelical where we're getting it wrong and getting it right. i'm looking forward to going.
this whole post-regent life is slow in coming together. i thought i had a strategy, only to have it turned upside down by my life coaching friend. which was kind of annoying, but good. i guess i pay her to do that. there is more than one way to look at something, which is a simple fact that i seem to forget a lot.