The power of community in a busy world


“Dear Sir/Madam”

That’s how the letter started.

Talk about covering all your bases.

Old man, teenage girl?

Gender confused? In the middle of a sex change?

Didn’t matter. This letter was addressed to anyone, anywhere.

My mom, whose address appeared on the outside envelope, just shook her head.

I think she felt a bit generic at that moment. Sort of invisible.

Don’t underestimate the power of calling someone by name. It colors the features of the faceless masses.

It’s what makes community.

I grew up in the church. Been involved in

  • big programs.
  • stage productions.
  • growth strategy meetings.

Great ways to expand in numbers but not to foster life.

It takes community.

A sitcom from the 80’s called “Cheers” addressed the need for community in a simple but profound way.

Every day, after work, an odd assortment of characters met at a neighborhood bar after work to talk, relax and just have fun.

I’m not advocating the consumption of alcohol in dark corners of speakeasies and honky-tonks.

Trust me, I know a few hardnosed conservatives whose minds run down that trail faster than my dog Molly when she gets off her leash.

I’m talking about the innate need that every human being has to connect

  • to God.
  • to other people.

There is a reason the show ran for 11 seasons. It filled a void.

At some point we are all

  • lost.
  • Lonely.
  • Left out.

The show’s theme song sums up the longing in each and every one of us.

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.