Since our church retreat, I have been able to reflect upon another tree of life @suttonsachurch and how 'love unites all'. A simple art activity that caught something beautiful in us all. The idea that as community we allow our stories to be woven together takes a simple art activity and makes it powerful. It's a journey towards genuine social love, a journey that is not always easy because it involves transparency and vulnerability.
A community that gathers in genuine love demonstrates what Willard calls four marks of Good Community. 1) They see themselves as God sees them 2) No need for defensiveness 3) Pretence is laughable 4) There is a constant commitment to being realigned to God's purposes.
Good community is released from self, and knows what it is to be devoted in the service of others, our stories woven together for others!
"Love unites all, whether created or uncreated. The heart of God, the heart of all creation, and our own hearts become one in love. That's what all the great mystics have been trying to tell us through the ages". Nouwen