"Oh no," you may be thinking, "Not another book about that ubiquitous buzzword: community!"
Oh yes. And we need this book precisely because the author admits that community is a buzzword, the kind that sizzles a lot and promises a juicy steak. You smack into the idea of ideal community everywhere, but the genuine article is rarer than rubies.
We want community- we long to be seen, heard, loved, guided and included.
But then again, what if community turned out to be stifling, oppressive, intrusive, and demanding?
As Anne Marie knows, the desire to be embraced and the need for independence wage war within us.
So how do we integrate? How do we share ourselves with others, how do we trust our hearts to others?
"Talk with your doctor today, and see if community is right for you." Only, you can't prescribe a daily dose of it.
Community doesn't come in a bottle, even if it is part of our cure.
Lean on Me approaches the idea of community in a unique way, through memoir.
Anne Marie tells us about the darkest months in her own life, when desperation drove her to make an SOS call- for community.
She sought to build a team of friends because she knew she needed them, and she got far more than she ever imagined.
She found people who reminded her over and over that her identity is in Christ.
She found people who based their unity with her on that same identity.
She found people who understood her current circumstances and helped her look toward hope.
She found people who spoke the truth and encouraged her own bold honesty.
She learned about giving and receiving love and care.
And by telling us her story, the particulars of times and places and people, she hopes we'll begin to call out for our own community.
And because it's a memoir, it's good reading. You'll cheer when you get to the last few chapters. :-)
Anne is an advocate for many great organizations. She was a cyclist on the 2010 Ride:Well Tour, a cross-country cycling tour in Summer 2010. The two-month long, 3000 mile trip from San Diego to Myrtle Beach raised awareness and funds for water projects in Africa. She's also a big fan of The Mentoring Project and To Write Love on Her Arms.
Anne Marie and her husband Tim, a youth pastor, live in Lubbock, Texas