Monday, March 18, 2013

The Power of Community

I have this CD on learning Italian through music. It works, by the way, because I clearly remember one of the songs. One of the verses were, "Non ho tempo per pensare ne tempo per respirare." I do not have time to think or time to breathe. The past few weeks felt like that.

My church moved into our first building the first Sunday of March. The weeks leading up to that were filled with construction and renovation. For Kingdom Kids, it was filled with painting and preparing. We're not even done, but it's amazing how God places the right people in the right places at the right times.

I was a big fan of the tv series "Joan of Arcadia." There was an episode where Joan ended stuck in a school play which fell apart on opening night. The sets were breaking. The actors were running around. It was crazy and chaotic. Joan frantically rushes to the play director and asks if he was going to do anything about it. He turns out to be God, who tells Joan to embrace the chaos.

It was a funny episode, and I do believe God is a God of order. But it seems people see Him clearer in the midst of chaos. The Parting of the Red Sea. Jesus Calms the Storm. Paul & Silas in Prison. The church building construction felt like being thrown into chaos. There was so much to be done in every direction. It was a stark reminder of how physically unfit I was for physical labor! And I mostly just painted (having to stay away from construction dust because of my asthma). 

In the episode, Joan didn't really embrace the chaos, but she stopped panicking and did her part on cue (she had a solo singing part). And when she did her part on cue, silence fell in the auditorium. Her song was about bringing people together, and it was the right song at the right time to stop the chaos and bring home the point of the play.
When we're thrown in the midst of chaos, it's easy to fall apart and panic. It's easy to frantically rush to someone and cry out our fears and frustrations, just like the disciples who woke Jesus up in the boat and cried out, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" (Matthew 8:25). But if we stop panicking and just do what we need to do, we might just be amazed at what happens.

During construction and painting, there was hardly any time to actually cry out asking God how we're going to get it all done it time. Like I said, no time to think or breathe. But truthfully, people showed up to do what they can do and God showed us what faith can do. 

Since January, my grandfather was in the hospital. On March 8, 2013, he passed away. His memorial was this past Saturday. In the same way people showed up to work on our building, they showed up for my family. I'm ever so grateful for the friends and family in Christ who showered us with love and support. My grandfather is now at rest, pain-free in heaven. Though I've had peace with his going home to Christ, there's still some hardship. I saw the power of community these past weeks. People pulled together to finish a building construction in record time and to support a family in need. Being in the family of God means getting physical help and emotional support when you ask for it or when you're too caught up in the storm to ask for anything.

When a storm is brewing around us, a little faith can go a long way. Imagine what a lot of faith can do! I'm introverted, which means I can only be around people for so long before I need to recharge myself in solitude. But I know the power the of community. More so, the power of God. So if we're in the middle of chaos, let's press the pause button on panic. It's not really about embracing the chaos. It's leaning on the people supporting you through that chaos, and embracing faith that God can do something good and amazing with that chaos.

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