Where is my Community?

Community is commonplace, right? How I wish it was that simple.

I want to walk outside my front door and know I will be welcomed and accepted for who I am. 

In reality, I walk out the door guarded and wonder who will chastise me for my beliefs. I find myself isolating out of fear for being judged. How many times does this happen in a person’s lifetime? 

As water quenches our thirst, we humans need  social connection as part of our essential nourishment.  We seek moments to share our joys and sorrows with others. This allows us to find hope in tomorrow. 

The truth for many of us is that we feel shamed for our norms, religion, values, customs, even just for who we are. The urge to be “right” breeds anger, bitterness, and resentment; and under such pressure the community pulls apart. 

How do we achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “beloved community” – a community in which everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate

It is as simple as “love thy neighbor”. 

Listen to Doug Shipman’s Ted Talk on 

The secret to creating the beloved community: Doug Shipman at TEDxAtlanta

Journey of Hope strives to create a beloved community by inspiring people to connect with those who are reintegrating from incarceration, treatment, or experiencing homelessness. 

Over the last ten months a few Journey of Hope volunteers studied the book of John with a group of women experiencing homelessness. It was a beautiful experience connecting with women I would have not normally associated with. But why not? They are uniquely created just like you and me. We learned a lot about one another but more importantly we learned that we ALL experience trouble in this world and not to worry, there is HOPE. 

Our organization also provides folks with a fresh-start kit of hygiene supplies and socks, not as a handout, but rather to let them know they are cared for and they have the basic essentials to start anew. 

Life is too short: why waste my time feeling bitter when I could love instead?

Kari Palmer