Active Presence

Submitted by Joshua Enns on February 24, 2012 - 10:09pm
Immersed in community life

“What kind of healing does this community provide to the refugees it hosts?” The question was directed towards a Partner, one of the long term committed members of the Jubilee Community in Comer.

“We don’t usually provide any typical diagnosis type services. What we offer I like to call active peaceful presence. We try to provide an atmosphere of acceptance and openness. We try to cultivate a sense of caring presence and shared journey where community members are allowed to learn how to live in a new place without pressure.”

In the thick of a week-long visit to the Jubilee community I ask myself, how I can write about this established ‘active presence’ when writing itself is a reflective practice. If words could do it justice, I would explain the love I felt when a refugee child sat in my lap and read me a story about dinosaurs. I would write about how the woods connected the community to the land, to seasons, to a slower deeper rhythm than city life. I would share about hauling wood with leaders and volunteers and sharing work evenly regardless of our positions in the community. However, this sense of active presence, of living and working in the present to address and journey with the needs of the community and those it supports seems incommunicable through text. It is something you need to experience. I can say that so far this week I have been awestruck by the stories that Jubilee Partners shared of their sense of mission and calling towards a hospitable, faith filled, counter-culture life modeled after their faith in Jesus and a God of Love.  

What of the questions I had before the week began? I think that in the thick of active presence I can’t quite do them justice – my experiences will take some reflection and thought to process and integrate but I can comment that so far my time in this intentional community has fulfilled my expectations of meeting people who work in humble, strong willed ways in cultivating the world towards a deeper understanding of love.

Josh, what a great commentary

Josh, what a great commentary on our time at Jubilee. I would like to say 'amen' to the joy of listening to a child read aloud, and the peace of moving through the woods to a rhythm that these busy streets outside my window can't comprehend.