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I moved to Stamford Ct in August of last year with my husband and two small children, because my husband had a job here. I left my dear friends, faith community and support system of "Mom" freinds, i.e my community. My husband was laid off in September. I sat in this house we rented with my toddler while my other son went to kindergarten. I knew no one, I had not really met anyone new, or felt very welcomed or comfortable with anyone yet. My friends and support system and sustaining lifeline of community, networking and familiar were either back in Brooklyn or on Cape Cod where the rest of our family lives.
I felt paralyzed, and kind of like I was living in the twilight zone.
Then I decided we were going to find a church.
"Christ the healer" appropriately named, an Episcopal church here in North Stamford.
I walked in the door, and knew immediately that this was where I needed to be.
The "body" as it were of people were and are welcoming, wonderful and offered hope in a time when I felt lost and lonely. I was looking for community, and support as we try to find our way through this labyrinth of life. I had found it. I immediately dove in. Prayer group for healing prayer, bible study, pancake suppers, lenten booklets, sewing banners. The essential quality of being in a community, involved and counted on as a "member of the body" is enriching and sustaning. The leg cannot move without the hip and so on....
The idea that we live in community is not treated as sacred, and it should be. We are here on this planet to support one another, watch out for our neighbor, care for eachother in crisis or not. There is no real point to being here unless we can help one another, is there? I hope I can instill in my children the values of kindness, consideration, love, and a belief that we can count on those we need in a time of crisis, just as we would be that person/those people to others in their need. I's not rocket science, actually rocket science is probably easier, it doesn't involve the complexities of human relationship and emotions.
Who we need to be for eachother is that person who says simply.
"How are you doing?" with a kind smile or a simple touch.
"What can I do?" "Can I do anything to help?"
Look in to each other's eyes, offer a kind word, tell people to remember to breathe. We will embody hope and understanding, living out community in action.
I know I will be cared for ultimately if things get any worse. I have loving family back on the Cape. We are the lucky ones. My husband still does not have a job, and we are trying to figure out what to do and where to go next. I can be that person to others in a similar situation- I was today as I spoke on the telephone to a brand new friend whose husband just got laid off. I told her, "one day at a time, don't worry this second about what you will do, and don't forget to breathe, you are not alone. Please come over."
The simplest of things are kindness, consideration, being loving and finding community. In a sense it is hospitality. Hospitality is what can sustain me at this moment. It happens to be in faith community, which is what it needs to be for me, especially now. But even when things are great I still say TBTG-Thanks be to God. My life by standards (in the world, even in America) is great and I count my blessings every day. My beautiful children, wonderful husband, warm bed and food to eat. It's all simple, ultimately.