Speak Eagle

Teal Ribbons for Peri

com·mu·ni·ty  (kəˈmyo͞onitē)

It’s a noun with many definitions.  My favorite is this:

–a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals–

When do we experience community?  During happy times?  Like birthday parties, rodeos, and fireworks?  Definitely.

But what about tragedy, trials, and sickness?  Can we experience community then?  Definitely.

alinaI think of the typhoon in the Philippines in November, and my friend Alina who, as a nurse, banded with a group from WeServe to help the sick and hurting, caring for their physical wounds and sharing the gospel of hope.  They had a common goal, and they undoubtedly experienced community.

mustachesMy mind jumps back to the present.  I’m sitting next to Peri on her bed.  She’s still fighting this cancer beast with her indomitable spunk, hanging onto life and Jesus day by day.

A neighbor named Heidi (yes, another Heidi) comes by to walk Peri’s dogs, Kelly stops by to bring their family tacos and silly mustaches (see photo), Sarah and her friends take out the recycling, Betty brings giftcards from her office, Chris joins me in Peri’s room and we laugh about my excuses for not exercising and remind each other to “breathe Jesus” when we are afraid.

Even when circumstances are bitter, community is sweet.

One of the sweetest pictures of community in the midst of Peri’s illness was a few months ago when our neighborhood tied teal ribbons around our trees in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness and Peri.  It was cold day, but I remember warmth- the warmth of sharing our love and support and care for our friend and her family.teal ribbon

Peri bemoans the fact that she can’t “do” anymore like she wants to.  But I assure her- she is doing more than she knows.  She has given our little community in Middle Tennessee a treasure- the priceless treasure of experiencing community.

(Click here to see the local news story- Teal Ribbons for Peri)  https://youtu.be/FnJVAuEVOlo

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