Community Will Save the World


I once read a blog post by a Unitarian pastor who said she believed community would save the world.

I think she may be right.

In fact, I think this is just another way of saying what Jesus said: that the Church would do greater things than he did.

I’ve always been a little skeptical of this statement. I mean, really, Jesus: us? Greater things than you’ve done? Are you sure about that? Have you met us? We’re a lazy, selfish bunch.

Or at least that’s what I thought until tragedy hit out family.

The community that has enveloped us with love is saving us. And it looks and feels a lot like Jesus.

This community is sustaining us, as a family, on every level while we endure this hell.

For starters, there are the doctors.

Jesus cured people with a touch. This team of doctors and nurses who is treating Felix has cured countless children with life-threatening diseases. SCID, leukemia . . . they’ve saved children from certain death. It’s not instantaneous and it’s not perfect, but it’s very real healing. So it kind of reminds me of Jesus.

And then there are the friends, family members, acquaintances, charitable organizations, and taxpayers who are keeping us alive. Let me count a few of the ways.

  • Money has been pouring in from friends, family, and complete strangers so that we can focus on caring for Felix.
  • Our families are providing amazing care for Lydia while we’re preoccupied with Felix’ urgent care.
  • People are praying on our behalf when I can’t. Honestly, most days I can’t even pray. I’m just too worn out, too miserable, too hopeless. That’s why I keep asking you to do it for me – you who are closer to God. Maybe he’ll hear you. Literally hundreds of people – entire congregations, multitudes of blog readers, friends and family members scattered across the continent – are praying for us. If my Catholic friends are right, departed souls are even praying on our behalf. God’s got to listen, right? And just knowing that all these dear friends and strangers are begging for Felix’s healing helps me get through this.
  • Your tax money, fellow Ontarians, is also helping to keep him alive. We could never, ever in a million years afford this treatment, even with all the donations pouring in. Last week Felix received a $5000 vaccine that was paid for by OHIP. It’s only possibly because we’re pooling the money of thousands of people. The magic of community.

If I was on my own . . . I don’t think I’d make it in one piece, spiritually or otherwise. But community is keeping me together. It’s God’s Kingdom at work.

Some of the members of this community are consciously members of God’s Kingdom. Others are contributing without realizing it, but I think that counts, too. I believe that every heart that moves in line with God’s will is helping to build that Kingdom here on earth, helping to redeem it.

For some reason, I am learning that God prefers to do things collectively, in community; and he likes to do things the slow, complicated, mysterious way. Honestly, I often question his judgment on that (the quick, simple, painless way seems vastly superior to my way of thinking…), but I guess with him being the Great Benevolent Force Behind Everything and all I just have to trust that he knows best. I really wish he would consult me on these matters, but I guess I haven’t been around all that long and I can’t take it too personally.

So I’m trusting that God is using community to save us. I’m getting a glimpse of how he’s planning to carry out the redemption of all creation – through us. It’s insane and frustrating and messy and I kind of hate it most of the time, but it’s happening. And I guess I should be grateful that I get to witness it.

Image courtesy of mic wernej.
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  1. I’ve been thinking about community too and the blessing of this happening in just such a time, in just such a community. The beauty of God leading us bloggers to each other, having the combined army of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Insta, etc. Our real life communities can often be amazing, but thanks that decision so many years ago to start the M project I can’t help but see God’s hand in it all – leading up to this – for the prayers, the finances, and the support we’ll find ways to give over the coming months.

    I don’t know why you, me and so many others we’ve connected with online have had these things happen to us in such quick succession. But I’m feel very blessed to have you in my army and to be even the smallest part of yours. x

  2. Dearest Kathleen, every time I read one of your posts about little Felix, I want to comment but I’ve been hesitant to do so. Other people speak much more eloquently than I and whatever I put into words doesn’t seem like enough. Today, though, I want you to know that I, a stranger to you, am praying for you. I pray for Felix. I also pray for Ben, Lydia and you all by name. I pray for your unnamed extended family. I pray that God will heal Felix in his perfect way. I pray that you and your family receive the comfort, support and finances that you need and that all of your needs of which I am not aware, but God is, are also met.

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time. Your beautiful soul comes through in your writing. I also pray for the continued protection of that soul through this difficult time and to God be the Glory.

  3. Bless you Kathleen. And Carolyn, that was beautifully said.

  4. So beautiful.
    Becca recently posted..anxiety, guilt and the holy work of playMy Profile

  5. What an amazing post, and a great reminder for Christmas of the symphonies of hope and gratitude. I’m continuing to pray, Kathleen.

  6. I want you to know that I’m praying for all of you. But I also want you to know that I completely understand when you write about not being able to pray and how important it is for others to be praying for you. I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, and during the months between diagnosis and surgery to determine treatment, I just couldn’t pray. It wasn’t that I was angry or blamed God or had lost faith, if anything my faith wa stronger than ever. But I just couldn’t talk to Him. I didnt know what to say. Or how to say it. It was a very hard thing to admit. But knowing how many prayers were being SSI on my behalf was so comforting. I hope everything continues to improve with Felix and that you feel the support of your whole community and the peace of God during this time.

  7. I first came to your blog a while back through Molly’s blog, and then more recently as she has been sharing your family’s story through her FB page. I wanted to let you know that you have been in my prayers each day ever since I heard of your baby’s story. Your reflection on community has been lingering in my head since I read it, and I had to come back and let you know that I think it is the most beautiful and true thing I have read this Christmastide. There is such power and presence in the support of others, but what an amazing gift that your eyes can still see this in the midst of all that must be swirling before your heart and mind. Thank you for sharing this prophetic witness here.
    Laura @ Mothering Spirit recently posted..the blog book tour: day 7. fumbling toward graceMy Profile

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