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essential community

heatherMy Sunday school class has been studying wise words from a man who lived through the Nazi terror, Deitrich Bonhoeffer.  He was a Christian, a writer and fearless.  In fact he wrote several books while underground.  (I figure if he can write while dodging Nazi’s, I’ve got no excuse!)

Anyway, he unpacks the concept of community, a word I’ve always felt was simple and really meaningless in my life.  In fact, I relegate community to a low spot on the totem pole because I’m what people call an introvert.  But Bonhoeffer talks about how community is absolutely essential to our lives as Christians, in fact it’s in our DNA to live in community.  I’m simplifying this to the extreme, so please take time to explore this further because let me tell you, God has really been speaking to me about intentional community.

Being an artist is difficult, sometimes impossible.  And I think being a Christian artist is even more challenging simply because we are speaking about life altering things.  It might be wrapped up in a children’s story but it is none the less important.  Community is what keeps us going through the tough times, walks with us through the hard questions and celebrates with us in our victories.  We are in some sense, prophets.  We believe God speaks through our art.  We believe he inspires our work.  And through our entire lives we will always be wrestling with and unpacking the implications of this mysterious relationship between God the Creator and human artist.  I’ve found great comfort and strength through exploring and working through this with my artist community.

Talk to me about your community.  Do you have a community?  Is there anything that happens in your community that you find to be particularly helpful?

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2 thoughts on “essential community

  1. Patricia Sandusky on said:

    I believe we do need a community. As I think back about my childhood in a small town, I now understand more about why it is important. Artists need an artist community. I don’t have one, but I want one, and I pray for one.

  2. sammiebennett on said:

    Ah, Heather, this is beautiful! I love how you comment on the struggle and the need for community. I also appreciated your honesty about how you formerly viewed community. That resonates with me in a big way. To answer your questions, yes, I do have an artist community… (waves at the writer of this post). It’s a small group of other women who are doing this writing thing and their “there-ness” has been absolutely life-breathing to me as an artist. I think their encouragement is particularly encouraging. I can have so much doubt, so much insecurity as a writer. Hearing kind words from a trusted friend is huge. Love you!

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