The Question Matters

Community Lost

Posted in Change,Family,Generation X,Next Generation Leaders,People Watching by treyfinley1008 on February 25, 2010

Every generation mourns that which they’re given by their elders.  (If you don’t believe me, believe Howe and Strauss, analysts and prophets in how generations relate to one another.)  We have a choice, both individually as well as generationally, to either live under the curse which we’ve been handed, or to radically transform it.  Some elements of our story may already be written for us, I suppose, but how we react and respond to those elements defines our generation.

I mourn the loss of authentic community given us by our parents and grandparents.  All but the best businesses are work first, relate second.  So many small groups at churches are overgrown underdeveloped social clubs hidden behind a veneer of Bible study.  Institutions which should be designed to build and protect community–law, politics, news, religion–have instead torn apart community through their own unique contributions to our current culture.

I have an unapologetic passion for churches.  It grieves me to see what God designed to be a tight-knit community with a common belief has devolved into a fractured institution.  So when a person believes with all their heart that God’s people can once again be united, that belief must be celebrated, announced, and never quieted.

I didn’t know Jenny Bizaillion personally.  I consider her younger brother Josh a distant friend, who I prayed with and went to small group with for two years while in graduate school.  When her family says that she had a belief in the reunification of all Jesus-followers, I believe them.  Today, Jenny Bizaillion’s life will be celebrated and mourned in her memorial service. I cry for her husband, her nine-year-old daughter, her parents, and her siblings.  I cry because in her death, something has been ripped that cannot be resown.

But in that severing, I find hope.  Hope that she will see her family again.  Hope that all things are possible with God.  Hope that the intense and unjustified suffering of a wife and mother just entering the prime of life will somehow be redeemed.  Hope that if one person’s illness could unite thousands of people across every continent, then perhaps her life will contribute a pebble to the construction of bridges among the fractured protectors of my faith.

Generation X has been accused of being loners and skeptics and of subverting community.  That’s a load of…well, it’s crazy.  My generation knows better than those that preceded it what authentic, messy, chaotic community looks like, and we embrace that messiness.  I invite you today to embrace a person and her family, a family that stood at the center of this messy community and the whirlwind of prayer, concern, and heartache offered up in their behalf.  I invite you to believe in that which is unseen.  Jenny did.

Blessed be your name in a land that is plentiful, where the streams of abundance flow

Blessed be your name

Blessed be Your name on a road marked with suffering, when there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be your name.

Every blessing you pour out I turn back to praise

When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your name

You give and take away, You give and take away

My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name


2 Responses to 'Community Lost'

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  1. Thanks for reading, Jen. It is a very sad story. A month ago she was loving her family and life. Today, her family is mourning her loss.

  2. jen said,

    A wonderful post, Trey. I want to read it again and put my brain around it all. So sad about the 9 year old losing her mommy.

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