Strong From Community


Image description: There is an orange-brown background, and toward the right side of the image, there is a circle of symbols of people made from paper. They are holding hands in the circle, and a light is shining in the middle of the circle.

I’ve been reflecting on this lately:

For a long time in my life, I believed I needed to be strong for community. I mean this in two ways: I had a calling to be a care giver in community, so I wanted to provide that strength. But also, for a lot of my life, I thought I had to be strong to weasel my way into community — that strength would give me entrance into community, and if I made myself useful, I might also be able to have my needs met there. I don’t mean that I believed I needed to be invulnerable in some way. But these were instincts I had, and in my growing up years, especially.

But in these last few years of my life, I really feel that I am strong from community. I feel very loved and cared for, and I am amazed at how much care comes my way, even now in physical isolation — in calls, texts, Zoom check-ins, and snail mail… you name it. I belong intrinsically to a community that is broad and deep, and that care finds me and sustains me every day. And I share from this too: My community is not some possession for me, over here, by myself, something that I get to experience, but others cannot have. I am constantly passing along the strength, wisdom, and love I find here.

I am strong from community. I get to share this.

But my deepest awareness these days is this: I am called to be a care receiver.

What a shift that is! There is never a day I won’t be a care giver. That’s who and how I am. But I have this calling all the more: I am called to be a care receiver.

Renee Roederer

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