My thoughts are that we should not try to be anything special as a community. Lisa and I were talking about this last night. It is adolescent to try to be special, to just do things to be popular, rebel against anything that you don't want to be, to fight for the you who stands where you are. I mean, all this is necessary on the way to maturity, but a sign of maturity is moving out of your uniqueness which you have discovered and embodied to help and serve others. "I got to be me at all costs," is not the end. It is on the way. Compassionate love is the end. I think our community exhibits many signs of adolescence right now. Example: we won't do things when they are expected. This is adolescent. Maturity is serving someone even when it is expected, or worse, even taken for granted.
It is very difficult to move from adolescence to adulthood. It means giving up what we think is our liberty, our self-identification, our radicalness, our selves. It means giving in, in a way, to the needs of others. Generally, adolescents don't give a damn about the needs of others, especially if it encroaches on theirs. A mature person does care and will do something about it when presented with the opportunity. A mature person serves even when it costs something precious. To adolescents, the biblical and Jesus-like idea of pouring yourself out for others feels suicidal. For a mature person, an adult, this is the meaning of life.
My community isn't yet at the place where it is being free, authentic and honest solely for the sake of others. We still care too much about ourselves, what people think, how we come across, and what we are trying so hard not to be. At some point I'm hoping our community will be able to say, "Ya, we're special. Sure, we worked hard and it cost us dearly to be this. Big deal! Here, let me help you."
The picture is a pencil drawing I did recently. It says something about being together, even in the darkness.