Reflecting on Community….

It’s summer and folks are heading out of town. Some of us are visiting family, or going on long journeys. Others simply head out for a day trip or long weekend. There are so many awesome photos that it has been difficult to choose just one to reflect upon. So what caught my eye today was the number of photos of old bridges. My cousin Diane took this photo of a masonry bridge while driving along the back roads in Bucks County, PA. These arches remind me of the ruins at Fountains Abbey, a World Heritage site in England. Originally built in 1132, the abbey is amazingly well preserved. While living in England, we attended a service in the cellarium celebrating 2000 years of Christianity. The monks built a beautiful and incredibly strong cellarium, entirely made of arches, simply to store food. An arch is strong because it distributes the weight above it. Masons have been building arches since ancient times. It has been said that if you understand how to build an arch, you can build anything. So is it any wonder we are drawn to these old bridges with arches? It seems to me that Christian community is a lot like an arch. Each member, each brick, takes on a little of the load. The burdens that can be shared by many together far exceed the burdens that can be carried by each one alone. Brick upon brick, burden upon burden, can be piled on top, without compromising the community. Yet the community, like the arch, must maintain a delicate balance. If the arch is pulled in too close, or stretched out too far, it fails. A healthy community also must learn to find that delicate balancing point. We need to be connected, but not too close. Sometimes the person with the most insight is part of your community, but not your immediate circle.  The distance allows a more balanced perspective, a different view of the situation from those closest to us. Take time today to reach out to those in your Christian community. Offer to be there for someone else, to just listen. Be respectful of one another, accepting that now may not be the time to open up. And remember that like the arch, we must remain connected to be strong, not too close, but also not too far away. Photo by Diane Brooks Myers


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. seekthesacred
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 03:38:05

    Aunt Agnes believes this photo is of two coke ovens, rather than the arches of a bridge. Uncle Joe told her about seeing the fires of the coke ovens at night as a child in Western Pennsylvania.


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