As I reflect on this encounter, what struck me was the way she symbolized the Back of the Yards community that I have been blessed to be a part of for almost two years. To take from a mural in our gym, this community is simple, humble, and pure. Real. Genuine. Authentic. The “not enough” I felt, the painful insufficiency I wanted to cover up, was supposed to be there—it was space reserved for God and others—and only gets filled if I’m real.
Our own little community in the Hope House confirms this. Presently, the Hope House consists of five young adults of varying professions call Hope House “home.” Our thirst for community, service, faith, and social justice brought us here. We stay together by carving out the time for each other and supporting the mission of the Port by aligning each resident’s sweet spot of passion and skill with that of the community.
I’ve found that the simplicity of our space has created a positive environment for prayer and relationships. We gather for our bi-monthly house meetings, which include some sort of community building, such as a meal or game, reflect, pray, talk together.
There’s a healthy dose of shenanigans, jokes, and the occasional magic trick. But in the simple, there is space to encounter the other, to have real conversations and be challenged by this community.
My experience thus far leads me to believe that intentional community hinges on a commitment to making time for the other, and ultimately, for God, and takes consistent work. If we do not choose where we invest our time, the rush of the world claims it, so we commit to meet two times per month, and thank God for all the small moments of “community” that happen in between.
The humility I see in this community challenges me daily to let go of the feeling of not enough. It’s such a lie. I look around and realize it’s in simplicity, in poverty of heart where we become enough because space is actually room for God and room for one another.
God is enough for so many people here, so he can definitely be enough for me if I am willing, to be honest with Him and put down the mask.