We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
Living in intentional community is not nearly as idealistic as it sounds.
It sounds wonderful, though, doesn’t it? A group of Christians that live together, pray together, and attempt to be an influential part of the community that we live in. It is true that at the Blackburn House, we’re in peculiar kind of fishbowl as a first-year project. People want to know what we’re accomplishing in our community. What are we doing here? How are we a visible presence in the community? Is this a real thing?
Over the past 7 months, we’ve struggled with this. A couple of weeks ago, 3 of us met with Jason to talk about how we’re feeling and how we think things are going. And it hit me… a lot of the reason why there may be a disconnect with what we’ve been doing and what people are seeing is that people are forgetting the first half of the job description.
We live together, we eat together, we pray together.
This in itself is half of the battle.
I’ve spent the last 4 and a half years of my life living with roommates. It’s never easy, but this is different. First of all, it’s 5 busy women living together which means we have to deal with having absolutely ZERO space to put groceries, laundry laying all over the floor, the kitchen somehow getting trashed right after we’ve cleaned it, and forgetting to pick up our shoes and coats and mail and God-knows what else from all over the house. We have to deal with overnight guests and forgotten chores and sharing one telephone line. And we have to deal with all of this with a new kind of intentionality, because at the end of the day, we have committed to living with each other in a different way than the rest of the world. We have to see each other at 8 in the morning to pray together and we have to sit across from each other at the dinner table, and we have to learn how to live and serve and love the heck out of 5 people we’ve never lived with before every single day.
Remembering that has been an encouragement to me. It reminds me that the way we have been learning to love each other in the midst of the chaos that is our lives has been a beautiful thing. We cannot love our community well if we can not love each other well. If we accomplished nothing else in this next year (which, don’t worry, great things are comin), I would still be able to rejoice in that.