When our community was in its formation, we all read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together. I remember reading the words below, but it is only recently that I have come to understand their truth and authority.
"Human love makes itself an end in itself. It creates of itself an end, an idol which it worships, to which it must subject everything. It nurses and cultivates an ideal, it loves itself, and nothing else in the world. Spiritual love, however, comes from Jesus Christ, it serves Him alone; it knows that it has no immediate access to other persons.
Jesus Christ stands between the lover and the others he loves. I do not know in advance what love means on the basis of the general idea of love that grows out of my human desires- all this may rather be hatred and an insidious kind of selfishness in the eyes of Christ. What love is, only Christ tells in His Word. Contrary to all my own opinion and convictions, Jesus Christ will tell me what love toward the brethren really is. Therefore spiritual love is bound solely to the Word of Jesus Christ. Where Christ bids me to maintain fellowship for the sake of love, I will maintain it. Where His truth enjoins me to dissolve a fellowship for love's sake, there I will dissolve it, despite all the protests of my human love."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
For the past few years Natalia and I have struggled in our marriage. We have sought council, tried separation, retreat, recovery and whatever else we could think of to do to heal our wounds and relationship. We have recently been separated, which has been good for a time, but as that time is coming to an end we are forced to ask some hard questions about our future. We know that our relationship is in a fragile place and we are committed to making every change necessary to give us our greatest shot at reconciliation, recovery and renewal.
The Lake House guys have been my community and support through thick and thin, and I have realized that there may also be a call away from them for the sake of focusing on my marriage. Sunday night I came to them for the sake of guidance and support and they unanimously affirmed my intuition and have offered their full support for a transition. They have even agreed, in a tremendous act of love and grace, to move out of our house so that Natalia and I may have the freedom and space to work on our life together. With no clue of where they might go or what might be next, they each agreed to trust God and make a sacrifice that I don't think I can possibly describe in words. We all wept as we realized where God was leading the discussion and that our community as we have known it seemed to be coming to an end.
Will they band together and find another place? Will people disperse and start new ministries? What does all of this mean? There are an overwhelming amount of questions and fears that are swimming though everyone's mind. Though it may cost everything we know, we are dissolving it "despite all the protests of...human love."
In my sadness, I have understood Jesus' prayers from Gethsemane like never before. We cried out together "Father, if there is any other way, please take this cup away. Yet not our will, but yours be done." We all feel as though we have just received news of the death of an immediate family member and are in mourning. We face death and yet our hope is in His Resurrection.
It is a powerful thing for us all to lose something central to who we are, something that seems more dear to us than anything else we have known in this world and yet, release it freely because there is something greater, something more powerful and transcendent. Jesus is Lord and it is in our submission to him that we are brothers, family and a community. In some profound way we have never been more of a community than in our releasing of it for the sake of love.
For all of you who are reading this and are as shocked as any of us where, please know that we love you and are sorry for any way that this news will trouble or affect you. Remember that your community with us is also defined by Jesus. We may not have many answers to your questions just yet and we do ask that you are patient with us as we process this loss. We will also update you here as we figure out what is next. Please keep us in your prayers.