Creating Community

Recently I went to an outdoor memorial to celebrate the life of a friend. She had multiple interests and participated in several different groups. Hearing different people speak about her life, I marveled at how she had the gift of cultivating community wherever she went.

Sometimes a sense of community develops quickly among people with a common purpose or circumstance. These days, radiation treatment takes up a major part of every weekday for me. The schedule puts me in line for treatment at a set time with women and men from a variety of backgrounds and a wide geographic area. Some drive daily for an hour each way through the mountains, and some live closer in. We all arrive on common ground, once strangers and now connected in a deeply personal way. It’s amazing how quickly humor, conversations and warmth develop, as if we are instantly not only cancer survivors together, but also part of the same family.

All people are stewards of the relationships around us. We are meant to nurture, strengthen and be with one another in a way that builds up God’s kind of love and care for one another. I am grateful for those who nurture community over their lifetimes – and also for those who simply jump in when we find ourselves together.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub