Yesterday I met our local bus.  I was there to touch base with a fellow whose mother had passed away recently.  He was just released from jail and would be going to a graveside service I will be officiating today.

As he stepped from the bus, a group of four youth surrounded him.  They were obviously his friends.  The chatter was immediate and friendly.  While I was not sure if anyone would be there, a community was present.

The talk was about staying clean, or not.  About police encounters and friends gone awry.  About new shoes and tomorrow’s graveside service.  About aspirations and hopes.  About things that bind people together.

For months there had been no direct contact.  And yet, the community was present. 

With care and concern, or with selfish interest, or with motives of power and prestige, or with a sense of codependence, or with a tie of blood relative – we will find ourselves in community unless we actively exclude ourselves.  Which makes it imperative that we choose who will influence us – for there is no doubt influence will happen.