Taking thoughts captive

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Location: Midwest, United States

Favorite smells: mown hay, turned earth, summer rain, line-dried laundry

07 February 2006

Fringe Benefits

I’m on the edge of many communities, but a part of none.

I write for a magazine, but I’ve never visited the office or met the editor.

I work for a seminary, but I rarely visit and am not considered part of that community.

I work for a church, but have little interaction with its leaders or staff members.

I’m enrolled at a university, but I know no other students and have never met any of my string of advisers.

I grew up on a farm, but I’m not a farm girl. I live on a wooded acreage some miles distant from the two nearest towns. My phone is associated with one and my address with the other.

I write a lot of short nonfiction pieces every month, but I also dabble in short fiction and poetry. I work by myself in my home office, so I’m not part of any kind of writing community.

I have several friends of different ages with various backgrounds and interests, but they all move in separate circles and I’m not a part of any.

I enjoy spending time with my sisters and daughters, but neither my immediate or extended family is particularly close.

I’m not part of any close-knit community. I’m not part of a loosely knit community. I’m not even part of a crocheted community. I’m just a knotted tassel on the fringe.

But perhaps that isn’t entirely a bad thing. Perhaps there’s a benefit to being on the fringe.

Feeling as if I’m not a member of these communities keeps me from becoming too attached to this present world, which—I remind myself—is not my home.

And the feeling reminds me that I am part of the only community that matters: the eternal community of Christ’s Church.


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