Spiritual Practice


Katy Steele, 23

In an authentic community, people share life together and make a commitment to be real, to cling to grace, to love one another as they are. God gave us a desire to know and to be known. We come close to this depth of community when we give other people a glimpse of our hearts and allow them to touch our deepest wounds.

When I think of authentic community, I remember my friend Sarah. In North Carolina, Sarah was a long way from her home in California. When her mom suddenly passed away, Sarah’s life was changed forever. That night, a family from our local church opened up their home for Sarah. Immediately, people came. The living room was filled to the edges with friends wanting to sit and be still with Sarah in her grief. They brought snacks, and they held Sarah in their arms for hours. They cried at times, but they also brought much needed moments of laughter.

2 Corinthians 1:3–4 describes the comfort of an authentic community.

Months later, Sarah told us, “What I remember most about the night my mom died is sitting around the living room, laughing and crying with 20 of my best friends. It was as if Jesus put his arms around me.”

In it’s purest form, authentic community stands out to the world. It is infused with unconditional love and shines the light of Christ.


JOURNAL: Write about a time when you experienced the power of authentic community.

—from devozine (March/April 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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