Two nights ago, an Amber Alert went out for a boy from my town. He had been missing for several hours, and the official search was beginning.
This event, though extremely scary and terrifying, brought me a sense of pride in my community. People rallied around the family and provided prayer support and volunteered to help look for him. I was amazed at how many people shared his Amber Alert on FaceBook. It seemed like everyone within a 20 mile radius knew, shared, and prayed for the situation.
When the local police asked for volunteers to search, so many people showed up that many were turned town. It was a hold-your-breath-moment for several hours as we knew police, volunteers, and helicopters were searching for this boy.
God answered our prayers, and the boy was found, unharmed, about eight hours after he went missing. Again, FaceBook blew up with the joy of his safe return home. I wish every Amber Alert shared this ending!
Details aside, what really stuck out to me in that moment was the community coming together. I've lived in this community for seven years, and I've seen that unity twice. The first time was after a terrible car accident claimed two lives. The community rallied to support both families - benefits, fundraisers, prayer, etc.
It amazes me what can be accomplished with true community. I'm not talking about the three neighbors whose name I know... True community - doing life together. When you have someone who truly knows you stand behind you and cheer you on, that can move mountains. I am beginning to see this community in The Start Experiment (more on that later...). People I don't even know are encouraging me and spurring me on towards greatness.
It's an awesome feeling to experience that amount of untainted support, and I wish that more people could experience that community during the good times and the mundane times rather than in times of tragedy.
What does community mean to you? How have you experienced community?