Broken-down Poetry: community.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008


My guy friends have a peculiar habit. (Peculiar I say because I don't believe a lot of guys even worry about stuff like this.)

They are girl-protectors. Now, let's move past my tendencies to be a strong, woman-power kinda chica and focus on the BENEFITS of this theory. (My point: I don't believe I need protecting most of the time. I have a thing called a gut and I know how to use it.)

BENEFITS: There are occasionally jerky guys that I need my guy friends to keep outta my life. i.e. John Derek.

STORY: Missions trip 2007, Lauren crushes on a nice looking lad named John Derek Raymond. Turns out he "liked her." (He lived in Louisiana, did I mention that?) But he liked a lot of other girls. A lot. So Lauren's guy friends kept him away from her.

That was nice; I appreciated it.

But, sometimes this peculiar habit has gone a little crazy. i.e. kid in youth group that "liked me." Another friend kept this kid away from me. I don't know why it was necessary, the kid wasn't going to harm me in anyway. But, I didn't like that guy so it didn't hurt that my friend kept him away.

MORE CRAZY: Two of my guy friends tried to keep me from liking this one guy just because they didn't know him. He was a great guy--a Christian--but the guys didn't approve.

Which, like I said before, that's all fine. I don't feel I need protected, but I appreciate the guys' manly efforts to keep jerks away from me.

BUT, here comes the irony: While my guy friends are warding off all these John-Derek-jerks, who's protecting me from MY GUY FRIENDS?

Oh, no, you can't like dude from that church because I don't know him. Or, I'll keep that dude away from you because he likes three other girls.

BUT I can swoop in, like another girl (let's say), or treat you badly (perhaps), or even play games.

How come they get off the hook?

The underlying principle is this: this women-protecting my guy friends are doing can only work if done in the context of a inner-relying community. What I mean by that is that all members of the community must agree to certain ideals so that no one can be taken advantage of.

The goal of any community is to promote the interests of the other members of the group. Isn't that true? Think of the ACTS 2 church: they shared everything, prayed for each other, loved one another ("they were in one heart")--they were ONE ACCORD. They didn't let their girls get involved with jerks but they didn't become jerks themselves.

They understood that community meant that everyone was equal, everyone had a part, everyone was to be respected and loved.

I think I'm in a perfect community right now, and I confess it isn't my church nor my youth group. It's L.A.M. (AKA Clam or Lamb or Glam)

My friends Austin and Matt and I meet for coffee every week to talk about anything and everything. We are real with each other--that's truly the basis of our friendship. We hardly ever agree on each others' opinions, but we know that we are not going to get shot down if we're totally out of line. We respect each other. We offer advice and take it to heart. We joke around; we don't try to edit ourselves.

That's a community.

It's not a group of bickering people deciding who's turn it is to date so-and-so nor is it a bunch of teens tearing each other apart for believing in predestination over free-will. It's a group founded in love: true, unadulterated LOVE.

[dedicated to austin and matt. you guys make me happy.]


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