Ever since I can remember, I have lived in an open house. People have just felt welcome to pop in when they’re in the neighbourhood, come in for a chat, and then stay for dinner…and sometimes for days or weeks. I loved my childhood, because so many different kinds of people were in my house all the time; people we met at Qwanoes summer camp who needed a place to stay for a week here and there, my Dad’s car friends, family from both sides, someone even set up a camper in our driveway once for a couple weeks. As we grew up, our friends got their own licences and started to stop by, even if we weren’t there. One friend of my brother’s would come into the house for dinner whenever he was around…rarely wearing a shirt. He was THAT comfortable.
When Tyler died, a lot of that died with him…for a time. We could barely be together as immediate family for awhile, much less exude a welcoming home for others. I also married someone who did not grow up like that, and didn’t see the joy in having an open door policy. I remember our first fight as a married couple involving my dream to let single moms stay for free in the basement of the house we’d own one day…and his horror at the very idea of that. He wasn’t wrong, he was just very different from me. I could never understand why a home full of laughter and chaos and kids playing and people just being together could EVER be a bad thing. And I still can’t.
These days, I’m living at home again…and my family is getting back to living in community slowly but surely. This month, I have finally felt ok to start thinking about moving out on my own again. I hadn’t felt that way for the past year…but now, I’m starting to have the desire to be on my own, and have my own space in the world. And I have never lived completely on my own; not really. I’m excited for that step…BUT. What about community? I alternate between wanting the pristine fortress of solitude that I know I can easily create, and the very basic home that welcomes all of my friends, family, and any other person God sees fit to introduce into my life. The part of me that wants a new pair of shoes everyday wants the high-end condo that sits in the high tower so I can look down at the world below…the part of me that desires communion with God wants to create a place of community for everyone in desperate need of it. And these days, that’s everyone.
I don’t think that most of us know it, but we’re cutting eachother out of our lives, and it’s killing us. We’re lonely. We’re alone. The funny thing is…we’re united in that feeling. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community. I feel called to create that place of community so that you can experience it, too.
I think I just decided againt the highrise condo 😉