When we were little, my sister and I had a secret language. It was quite complicated, now that I think about it. But we had worked it out just fine, and it was ours and our’s alone. We loved to speak it in front of other people, knowing that they weren’t understanding a thing. It gave us power over them, or maybe a sense of belonging to one another.

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In community, there are certain words that we all agree have a specific meaning, even though we never really talked about it all. Like between my husband and I–if we say, “It’s Thursday night,” we both know we mean to say it’s the night we don’t go out but spend time with each other. In multi-level marketing organizations, when we use the words “front line,” we all know we do not mean it in war terms, but we understand that this is our first”level.” When my kids were little, we would call going to the bathroom Number 1 or Number 2, and we all knew what we meant.

Communities have everything to do with sharing values, or interests, or an exclusivity. They have everything to do with belonging together.

I love how Ruth Reichl puts it: “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”

Communities experience life together; there really are no communities without a certain level of caring. We have lots of expressions denoting this, like “It takes a village,” or ” One for all and all for one,” or even “The sum is greater than any of its parts.”

thMankind is certainly our largest community, and there are certain things that all of us humans understand–love, hate, pain, grief, need, joy… Then, we all experience life in increasingly smaller circles–continent first with its culture and languages, then countries, cities, villages, families, and even church groups, school groups, exercise groups, interest groups… many of our circles interconnect, and for each of them, we find language defined specifically according to specific codes. We never really meant to do that–it just happens. This is a testimony to how organic communities are. And I love it.
You were right, John Donne, “No man is an island.” We all need people who think and feel with us, who speak our specific language.
What we all need is the knowledge that we belong. And language has a way of making that clear–like a secret code that makes you feel a part of the game.
I am thankful for the communities I belong to. You?

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home,SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home, Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, Extraordinay, Lessons from Ivy,Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday, Finding Joy,WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life, Still Saturday. Wildcrafting Wednesdays, WFMW



  1. I am so thankful for my little communities too. I have them sprinkled here and there through different areas of my life. Sometimes they cross over, which I also love. Beautiful post, Barb.


  2. Barbara, I have a younger sister and enjoyed your description of how you had your own language. I am thankful for my communities too.


  3. Different places I worked, had words and abbreviations that meant something to them but not to outsiders. I can remember being quite fluent using PIG LATIN as a child. Remove the first letter attach it to the end of the word also adding the word lay. ig-pay atin-lay. It was fun then and I haven’t thought of it for years.

    Christians have their own language that new believers soon catch on to. My husband as a new convert thought saved was like saved from drowning. To him, Calvary was the army on horses – etc.
    Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.


  4. Community has been one of the greatest faith-building experiences of my life. So grateful for it. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.


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