Community as a Way to Wholeness

While not a life changing book, Eve’s Revenge ended on a very encouraging and inspiring note. Over the last 10 years or so, the Lord has lovingly guided me through a lot of what the author, Lillian Calles Barger, walked us through. By facing my eating disorder, I had to deal with a lot of issues of body, spirituality, beauty, cultural and societal expectations, etc. And, as I’ve come through on the other side of this, I have found a lot of healing and have worked through many of these issues that Barger brings up. I thank God for her ability to communicate well and her commitment to The Way.

HOWEVER, the last chapter took me kind of by surprise, and in a really good way. I hadn’t really thought about how community is intimately related to spirituality and the body. But, you know, it has been the times when I have felt like a valued member of a community that I have been able to best be myself and be okay with who I am. I think the healing of my eating disorder and the victory over my obsession with clothes and outward appearances has really been aided by a strong community. It’s been the times when I haven’t felt a part of an authentic community when I begin to struggle with some of issues of identity.

Barger gives some great suggestions on how to move more towards this wholeness as a person and living in true community through the help of the Holy Spirit. One that Jake and I have been really longing for lately has been the idea of settling into a community. We’ve moved countless times, and each time we move it gets harder and harder. We are re-examining our dreams and aspirations in light of the value of building deep friendships that are lasting. We are dreaming up ways to live a life that values people and where we have families that are as close to us as our biological family members.

Barger also raises the value of physical touch for her- hugs, etc. really bring people together. In college, my community of friends were eager to give hugs, wrestle, tickle one another, etc. in really fun, brother/sister like ways. I think this is a key aspect to deep relationships that many in our society overlook.

You’ll just have to read it. Even if you don’t read the whole book, I think the last chapter will be a great way to move forward in Barger’s ideas of bringing together the whole person by living lives of sacred community.

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