It’s been several weeks now since we brought Baby J home from the hospital. Life has taken on a rhythm of sorts. We have grown accustomed to disrupted sleep. We have new routines and priorities. It’s incredible how such a small person can impact a household in such a big way. But we were not the only people Baby J affected. She brought a village to action.
When our family brought home a newborn with nothing more than a Pack and Play in the house, the people in our church community showed up with everything we needed. Diapers, clothes, formula, cash, and other various items flowed into our household.
Along with these much-needed resources, meals, and conversation, prayers and encouragement came making us feel very loved and supported. We were assured over and over were not alone in figuring out how to do our new life. Our community was there to walk alongside us.
On top of the usual activities that come when you add a newborn to the family, there have been the visits, phone calls, classes, and appointments with various social workers and agencies who now have a part of how our life will be lived over the next few months. I am thankful for each of them and the work they do, but it can be a bit confusing for us newbies to the system. I am so grateful for the friends and family who have walked this path before us. They have come forward to help us through the process and make sense of it to our inexperienced minds.
Times like these make me realize the importance of connection and community. We need each other. Even when the world was untouched by hardship, man was not created to live a solitary life. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” [Genesis 2:18] This was when God created woman, but when He created that ‘suitable helper’ to walk alongside Adam, He also created community.
The word helper—ezar in the Hebrew—includes in its list of meanings the idea of the things you do or the help you give someone who is suffering or in a difficult situation. A helper is someone who brings relief or lifts a burden. Having a baby come into our home did not bring suffering, nor was it viewed as a burden, but it has had its challenges. Having a community become our helpers in those challenges blessed us in so many ways, and for that, we are grateful.
It does take a village to get through life. I don’t know what I would have done without mine, and I value each one of its members. Walking alongside and serving others around us is what village life is all about, after all. It’s the ‘love your neighbor’ in action. Jesus viewed it as the second greatest commandment. We should too. But that’s not all, when we serve our community, it is also fulfilling the greatest commandment of ‘Love the Lord, your God,’ with everything you got—heart, mind, soul, and strength. The two commandments play off each other and should affect everything we do. That will have to be a discussion for another post sometime in the future. Lol.
I am so glad I got to witness village life up close and personal these past few weeks. Thank you all who have offered resources, words of encouragement, and shoulders to lean on (and sometimes cry on). Your help has brought us much joy and has changed the world a little bit for the better.
Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40
How about you?
What is your village life like? Please share your story. Big or small, our journeys can and do encourage others.