Over Spring Break, I got a chance to sit out on the back porch of my parents’ house. They live in the quiet countryside of north Florida, surrounded by pine forest.
All throughout the day, the only noise is ours. Someone puttering in the kitchen. Someone else calling the dogs back in. Laughter and playing and the occasional argument between the kids.
But at nighttime, the woods come alive with a loud symphony of sound. Sitting on the back porch, with the frogs and crickets and birds all shouting their songs, God reminded me of something.
Each individual creature is tiny and fragile. On its own, it could be overlooked and not noticed. It could be forgotten, easily stepped on or quickly dismissed as insignificant.
But together? When they come together to raise their voices? It’s a choir that can be heard for miles. It will not be ignored.
The same can be true for us.
Individually, we feel fragile. But together, we are strong.
We are made for community.
I recently had the privilege of witnessing this firsthand.
Jennie Allen, a popular Christian speaker and author, was alone in a hotel room, trying to finish a book and realized her own need for community. With no real expectations, she tossed out a link for a Facebook group.
As of this writing, in the week since its birth, “Our Village” currently has 4,983 members.
Almost 5,000 people. Mostly women. Who immediately felt the need in their own hearts to connect and jumped in.
In the last week, I have seen hundreds and hundreds of posts. They mostly sound a bit like the one I wrote in my head and never posted:
Hey everyone. I wasn’t going to introduce myself because there are just so many people to know but I thought I might as well go for it. I’m so-and-so from somewhere. I’m a wife/mother/friend/sister/daughter/teacher. I’m glad to be a part of this group because _________.
And where that ________ is? Insert any one of five thousand incredible, unique, God-given stories. A story that might not have been told because there are so many stories that have already been shared.
And we tend to feel like our voice and our story isn’t as needed or as exciting or as important as the others.
But we are made for community.
We need to hear each others’ stories. And we need our stories to be heard. God made us that way.
For every reluctant introduction, the need to be known finally outweighed the fear of being overlooked. The need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves was stronger than the fear of rejection.
But strangers who are now a part of something bigger than themselves.
I have seen women jump to congratulate and cheer on successes. I have seen women humble themselves and bravely tell their truths once held hidden. I have seen women shower grace upon grace.
Strangers no more.
And again I’m reminded of the frogs, the crickets, and the birds. Each one a tiny creature. One small part of a much larger whole.
But together, we are strong.
We are made for community.