As an introvert I’ve previously expressed my misgivings regarding the unavoidable conclusion that transformation only occurs in community. Alas, sometimes I wish I could stay home and read a book, or take a pill, and be changed, but it just isn’t so. Transformation is the key to the Kingdom. And so in our little faith community we’ve been focusing on this issue of transformation; what Jesus had to say about it, the theories behind it, but also the practical aspects of it. What do we need to do? Much of our collective experience has taught us that we can’t wait until we feel ready for the next step, as that feeling may never come. (This is particularly true if that next step is in opposition to the status quo. It seems like the universe just doesn’t want us to change, to question, to rock the boat, to wake up.) Sometimes we need to step out and take that the plunge. When we do we may experience that unsettling sensation of not feeling anything under feet, but it usually passes as our brains and hearts catch up to our new reality.
We’re also big proponents of sacred space. As one who often rails against the false dichotomy of the sacred and the secular, this may sound like a contradiction, but I don’t believe this is the case. While there is no secular, no place where God isn’t, our experience has shown us that it is possible to be more intentional about creating space where God’s presence seems more readily felt. For the past 4 ½ years Sue and I have been living in 720 square feet of space. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice place, and we’ve been fortunate to have it. But it is small, and it doesn’t really allow for creating any sacred space separate from the main living area. After this much time it feels like the walls are starting to close in on us.
And so, for the past six months we’ve been looking for a new place. And yet…
Because of the stratospheric nature of the property market here in BC we’ve had to look at older places, and places off the North Shore , and places farther out. Needless to say we’ve had little luck. More to the point, however, it just hasn’t felt right. As self-righteous as it may sound, the thought of taking time and resources to meet our own needs in such a major way hasn’t been sitting right with me. All I can say is my heart has not been in the process.
And then it hit me.
In reality I’m sure it hit Sue a long time ago, but she’s been waiting for me to come to the same conclusion. In our circle we’ve been talking around the idea of communal living as the next step in the journey. In some ways it’s been a safe conversation to have. After all, we’re just talking. We’re not actually going to do it, right?
This fall Sue and I are moving in with Jen, Pete, Daniel (age 12) and Sarah (age 10).
We’re going to experiment with what it means to live together. We’ll have (some) common meals, and biweekly house meetings where everyone gets to speak up. Sustainability is also going to be a big emphasis: recycling, composting, gardening… we’re determined to shrink our environmental footprint.
Lest anyone think I’ve completely abandoned my capitalistic roots, this move also makes sense economically. We’re selling our place while the market is red-hot. If we were to buy somewhere else it would take everything we had. This way we’re freeing up resources for other uses.
We’re going to try our best to document our adventures in living at Delta House (we’ll be living in Delta, BC.)