A Feeling of Belonging

In my last post, I gave a few preliminary thoughts on putting down roots. Calling a place home. With the recent events in Baton Rouge — the shootings and floods — it’s been very evident that community is the cornerstone of “home-ness.” Anyone not willing to call Baton Rouge home would have skedaddled weeks ago. They would have had to settle into a new house, a new job and a new routine and, while they may have temporarily escaped tragedy, they would have missed out on something special.

Here’s what I mean by that. When you settle into a community, get to know your neighbors, serve the people around you and truly invest, you build relationships that are closer to brotherhood than friendship. And you may not see the strength of those relationships until they’re tested by tragedy. But when the storms come (literally), and you see your brothers and sisters rallying around each other to get them off the streets, to rebuild broken homes and not let anyone go hungry, you get this really raw emotion welling up inside of you. It’s not sadness, though you might shed some tears. It’s not joy, though you’ll feel like the luckiest person alive. It’s not love, though you’ll be overwhelmed by it. It’s a feeling of belonging. Of knowing there’s a family, a street, a neighborhood, an entire city that’s got your back and, come what may, they’ll be there for you.