Evacuating from my home in Africa 9 years ago entailed many losses. Leaving with only a carry-on meant the loss of all my stuff–my clothes, my furniture, most of my mementos, my music . . . my stuff. It meant loss of position; I was a teacher without a school or students. Because I lived on a school campus with most of my students, my fellow teachers, dorm parents, and support staff, we had built in community. Of all the things I lost, I think community was the most felt.
God has been faithful in supplying people to come alongside me. My family is an amazing source of support and love–even though we don’t live anywhere near each other at this point. I know I can count on them. My small group from church (both the former one and current one) are amazing places of acceptance and support. My colleagues are amazing–they feel more like extended family than co-workers. Lately, I’ve been re-introduced to a place of unexpected community–“my” physical therapy clinic, Above It All Physical Therapy.
I’ve been to other physical therapists. It was good. The therapist was nice. It was nothing like the practice I’ve been blessed with twice over the last year.
When I tell people I’m on my way to PT, there’s a basic response of “Ouch. I’m sorry” coupled with a grimace. I kind of feel bad for them because I know they’re missing out. Being hurt is no fun, but recovering with amazing care and community makes the whole process so much better.
Some days it’s a party. Some days it’s an oasis. Always, it’s a place of community. This office is a place of feeling known. It’s a place of being cared for as a person, not just an Achilles repair patient. Kevin, Dana, Sharon, and Josh are amazing at what they do, but even more than that they have a talent for creating community in a place of healing.
I didn’t expect to find community during physical therapy; I’ll miss it after my last treatment this week. I don’t recommend getting hurt, but if you do I know a great place to get some help. You’ll heal. You’ll be welcomed. You’ll belong. It’s a good thing.
Where have you found unexpected community?
photo courtesy of hddod on Flickr Creative Commons