Saturday, May 22, 2010

Becoming Human

For the last 2 Mondays, I've met with a few friends to listen to audio recordings of Jean Vanier's 1998 Massey Lecture "On Becoming Human" . The thesis (from what I've heard so far, we're not done the series yet ...) is that we all need to be in deep community to really experience life the way it's meant to be. That we need to be loved for our individuality. At Ecclesiax, we've always talked about community - about how the idea of the church is to be really, caringly, involved in each others' lives. But I don't think we've ever really done it. And I don't know if we can - can you actually bring together a random assortment of people and really create a family? Most communities, as Vanier says, are based on commonalities or, more specifically, on common strengths. This is equally true of churches - but then how do you create a church that is actually inclusive of, and encourages, difference, when it's the common ties that bind? And it doesn't have to be church - whatever groups you are in, how do you make them a "community"? To be honest, there's people that I don't want to be in community with, people whose company I don't enjoy. It's easy to say that I should still be nice to them and treat them with dignity and respect, but Vanier's call is to enter into relationship with them. Blech. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if anyone can. I feel like I'm I long way from becoming human.