The Julian Way Goes to the Midwest: Day 2 July 03 2015
This summer, as The Julian Way goes on a pilgrimage to live, learn and discover in our continued journey to create intentional community for people of all embodiments, we invite you to come along for the ride!
This morning, after a good nights sleep, we headed off to the John Paul II house to meet with Andrew and Joe, who were planning on taking us for a walk in a local park. This is a pretty common occurrence within this particular L'Arche community. We met up with other L'Arche community members like Sarah, Clara, Brian, and Mark. We spent most of the morning taking our time and short walks around the beautiful pond/lake that made up the majority of the park. This gave us a great opportunity to get to know the rhythms of the core residents of the community and their assistants.
Reflecting on our time spent with them in the morning, it was a great opportunity to witness how the core members and the assistants interact with one another's needs and how those needs are communicated. One example is that one of the core members does not communicate verbally but he could clearly communicate what he wanted with the assistants. Whenever he wanted to continue walking around the lake or wanted to stop and swing, the assistants could understand his clear desire. They also though were able to communicate with him by taking hold of his hand whenever a decision may not be something safe. This is an important and profound example that communication comes in a variety of forms, there is a significant amount of information that can be communicated with the body. This is something we often forget in our wordy world where we depend so much on speech and noise.
After this we had time in the afternoon to reflect, engage in rest, and eat some stinkin good sushi.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Friendship House for a cookout with most of the houses in the L'Arche community. The cookout was full of mutual fellowship among everyone, where core members, assistants, and guests intermingled seamlessly. Entering into their world and being accepted by them, the community as a whole, is a wonderful blessing that we don't often experience in our world.
There is such a sense that these core members and their assistants do intentional community really well and embody central tenants of any intentional Christian community in the way they live together. Most importantly there is a sense of embrace of the self and the neighbor for who we are at all times. Each person knows each others quirks and some can even tell stories about when life together has not been easy. Even this is done in a way that is loving and open. Life is just as complex as any other community in our world today, the difference is the intentionality and openness lived into by this L'Arche community.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 3 and more adventures!