Sacred Community

I never found it challenging to be alone—it was feeling alone that got to me.

Here’s a truth about introverts (like me). We’re not necessarily anti-social, we just need to be alone to recharge and refresh. Not so long ago I experienced something I never thought possible for my hermit-shaped heart.

I craved community.

Working remotely during the pandemic was a breath of fresh air for this loner, for the first few weeks. However, when gathering with colleagues, family, and friends fell away, the borders of my world closed in. When grief and prolonged illness moved in, I felt alone—as though forgotten.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23 NASB95

Have you ever awakened to a new day feeling you’d rather not participate?

Sometimes the hardest thing to do on a day like that is to take the first step. Believe me, I understand the monumental effort it takes to flap the covers back and roll out of bed. I can also testify to the numerous times I began my day drained of hope and discovered how being around others transformed despair into delight.

I encourage you to not only reach out but cling to the hope of Christ in you, Christ for you, and Christ with you. Give God the opportunity to add a testimony of His faithfulness to your story. Don’t turn back. Expand your world by participating in the life teeming around you.

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.

Hebrews 10:24 NASB95

Some of my most intimate and memorable moves of God came through being with others. There was a time when I prayed to feel God’s embrace. Later in the day, I watched as one of my customers walked to the exit door of the store. She placed her hands on the door, paused, turned around, came back to where I stood, and hugged me.

I’ll never forget her words when she released her embrace, “I just felt like you needed a hug today.”

She was stimulated by His love, and she passed that intimate strength from Him to me. I’m pretty sure I became a hugger of others that day, too.


For all the ways we can connect these days, assembling as encouragers in Christ is still the most effective antidote for feeling alone.

Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:25 NASB95

Hebrews 10:25 applies to believers gathering anywhere—at any time.

Sunday fellowship? Yes.

Nursing home? For sure.

The home where a mom feels isolated? Oh, yes.

The bedroom where your young one retreats? Of course.


May I encourage you to join me in prayer? Let’s ask God for opportunities to extend His love, do good deeds, and encourage others for His glory.

When He places people in our path or on our hearts, can we commit to following through?

We are a sacred community—the Church, the body of Christ. May His faithfulness be exemplified through our care for one another. We are truly in this life together.


We are a sacred community – the Church, the body of Christ. We are truly in this life together. Charla Matthews #community #friendship #parenthood


10 thoughts on “Sacred Community

  1. Charla, your title opens the door to a beautiful description of Christian fellowship—a blessing God knew we’d need. As an extrovert, I too crave connection with other believers. Thank you for this heartfelt, biblical picture of sacred community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Howdy, Jeannie :). I’m always grateful to see your smiling face. God designed us for community – for true relationship with one another for sure! Thank you for being part of this particular sacred community. You are an encourager in Him.

      Like

  2. Such truth here Ms. Charla. As someone else who cherishes “turtle mode”, those times where I can crawl inside my “shell of solitude” and recharge, I too recognize the importance of being an active, engaged member of the body of Christ. I think we see many examples on Sunday mornings on both sides of this equation. Some sneak into the sanctuary quietly, worship, listen (some might even take notes or follow along), and then as soon as the final “Amen” is uttered they slip out unnoticed until the next week. Others will “visit” and show interest in those around them. Something I love seeing at our church is small groups (not cliques) of believers who will come around someone needing prayer, strengthening, or just a general “lifting up.” I think this stems from our importance on evening Life Groups, where we gather in each other’s homes as small groups to discuss, share, and fellowship. Loved the lesson you shared here ma’am. You inspire me to do better. I can always crawl back into my shell for a while after I get home. Perhaps that’s why I spend so much time outside with the livestock. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I’m a fellow “turtle”, and I resonated with your every statement. I learned a valuable lesson through painful times. One that helps me with heightened awareness of others who may simply exhibit the need for “lifting up”, but most critical, those whom God nudges me to engage. Always enjoy your posts!

      Like

  3. Loved “I encourage you to not only reach out but CLING to the HOPE of Christ IN you, Christ FOR you, and Christ WITH you.”

    I remember you sharing with me that hug story and just how much you needed that customer’s love and kindness at that moment in your life.

    In the rat race of life we sometimes forget how God can use one act, in your case that day a simple hug to change someone’s life forever or to lift someone out of the depths of despair. Thank you for inspiring, encouraging, and challenging us to reach out to others with God’s love to give hope when someone may sense their situation is hopeless. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you were there that day if I recall correctly! Such a sweet lady and a favorite customer 🙂 Thank you for being an integral part of growing strong in Christ during those traumatic years. I’m grateful God crossed our paths!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s