“I want more.  Please!”

The whole room gasps as Oliver Twist timidly walks to the font of the room and asks for more.  All eyes are on him.  Hopeful, angry, cynical, confused, shocked.  Each hiding his (or her) own secret desire.

Quite frankly, I don’t remember much else from that scene.  I was not much older than Oliver when I saw the movie yet that scene made an indelible mark on my soul.  I wonder why?  The question has rolled around in my head on occasion and coming up with no answer I usually set it aside.

So why today?  Why did this image pop into my head while thinking about community?  Obviously, I want more.  But I suspect it has more to do with the eyes of those looking on from around the room.  Some were clearly ‘for’ this starving child; some clearly not.  Oliver must have known what would happen if he stepped outside the expected norms for his community when asking for more–punishment and shunning.  Yet, he did it.

The question that plagues me is whether I would have the courage to do the same.  All Oliver wanted was a bit more food; he found the courage and humbly asked for more.  No demands.  Just desire.  A huge risk.

Call me Oliver.

I was recently asked to journal/blog my thoughts about community particularly as they relate to our house church.  The intent is to stir up points of dialogue and possibly shake loose equally shared desire.  We are just not sure how to get where we think we want to go (and that may not be so clear either) so maybe this can become a helpful forum for us to discern the good that exists and also help shape our desires into something more tangible.