This week I’ve been having a rough time, and have therefore been appreciating some other forms of community available with dispersed friends & family. Ones that happen fairly often are phone calls, texts and emails, but this week I’ve had two letters, both arriving at just the time I felt I needed them! I’ve been rediscovering the joy of communicating this way, and there’s something lovely and personal and tangible about receiving a letter. The first came from a friend with lots of lovely news and encouraging cards enclosed, and the second from friends very far away: Sarah&Dom. I remember picking a date for them to write, but I can’t honestly recall the reason for that date in particular (they’d suggested they’d write on birthdays and such). Somehow or other (naturally, I suspect God’s weaving in this) I received it today, and it has helped sweeten some less welcome news and put it in perspective. I also had that lovely experience on the phone last night to my sister, where you reconnect with someone that you haven’t talked properly with for a long time. I kept finding myself thinking, who’s this wise woman I’m speaking with, where did she learn that? It was good to learn from her own “windy path.” And I have a pubchurch lunch with all the kids to look forward to tomorrow. Many, many reminders to me of a saying I first heard in Malawi: God is good, all the time, nthawi zonse, mulungu wabwino, even if (as I learned from my dictionary, trying to spell these correctly) masiku sakoma onse, not all days are Sundays.
This evenings discussions included quite a few thoughts on community, including the role of online communication in creating links with others, so I thought I would first link to one of my favourite real world as well as online communities: PubChurch BarNone. I also thought I’d pay tribute to those online people and groups that have influenced me, and realised that many of them were already listed in this Celtic Inspiration blog post from earlier this year. However, as I logged in to do this, I also found 3 other Blogs that wordpress highlighted to me, that connected me personally to their authors: What blogging has taught me, Trekking in Shangri-la, and The Accidental Athlete. This CS Lewis quote on one of these seemed to sum it up to me (and also explains another reason I think of reading as a social activity):
“We read to know that we are not alone.”