A friend posted about Community. Read it for the context of this post.
I have thought about this too! My opinion: it’s easier to write than speak. It gives every party time to think through their response, to phrase and rephrase things to their liking, eventually submitting some comment that reveals their best and wisest face. I even did it while writing the previous sentence (and this one).
Writing allows our thoughts to be refined and precise. The issue is, people aren’t like that. People are rough, flawed, fallen. To present our thoughts in a pristine, beautiful form has great value, but it loses some of our character. We don’t get to interact with the messy side of people. And the messy side is big deal.
Dealing with imperfect people also allows for closer fellowship. Understanding and copping with others’ flaws helps me know them, love them, be gracious with them, in spite of the difficulties. And not only do I know them, but they get to know me! My sin gets stirred up when someone aggravates me. I have tons of flaws, more than enough to go around. Yet through it all, community can survive, even flourish!
None of this really addresses how to reach out to that neighbor, coworker, or friend of a friend. But it starts the discussion. I’ll save those thoughts for a future post.
(p.s. I am looking for folks to run with, so hit me up if you’re interested)