I sat at a corner table in my local coffee shop on a beautiful spring morning recently, waiting for my friend to arrive. That’s when the parade began. Eight gray-haired ladies, dressed in varying shades of pastel polyester, scooted past my table, one at a time, a few in pairs. They chatted, waving a free hand to one another while clutching a Bible in the other.
As I tallied them up, I couldn’t help but smile. “Where are you from?” I asked, because I didn’t recognize them. “Oh, all over” one of them replied. “We meet up here because it’s in the middle.” Lutheran ladies who knew one another from a distance, gathering to walk through a study from their denomination’s periodical. Eight friends in Christ congregating to read, discuss and digest words they’d likely been reading most of their lives. Around a table. In the middle.
We women (and men) can be quick to lament the lack in our lives. High on the list for some of us is the lack of fellowship, whether because our church doesn’t offer organized gatherings or because we’ve “outgrown” whatever is available. Or simply because, if we’re honest, we aren’t making time for it. Can we admit that often what we lack isn’t the thing? It’s the gumption to make the sacrifice, to be vulnerable, to go after it.
To meet in the middle.
I’ve been reading a devotional during these 40 days of Lent featuring words written by German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Many are taken from his little book “Life Together”, an excellent guide to living in community. God created us for community, but more importantly, He created us to follow Him together. Here’s a slice of wisdom from Bonhoeffer:
“There is probably no Christian to whom God has not given the uplifting and blissful experience of genuine Christian community at least once in her or his life. But in this world such experiences remain nothing but a gracious extra beyond the daily bread of Christian community life. We have claim to such experiences and we do not live with other Christians for the sake of gaining such experiences. It is not the experience of Christian community, but firm and certain faith within Christian community that holds us together. We are bound together by faith, not by experience.”
Find your people. They’re likely right in front of you, right there, mixed into the “daily bread of Christian community life.” Fellowship, study, pray, worship together. As you quench your thirst for fellowship and reach out for that thing you lack, know that God designed community and He created you to live in it.
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”Psalm 133:1
I’m linking up today with other bloggers in the Five Minute Friday community to write for five quick minutes (more or less) on the one-word prompt “lack”. Drop in on some of the other excellent blogs by clicking through HERE.
Timely, nurturing words, Ingrid. Thank you.
thank you Ingred. Community is so important. It is what keeps my head above water when life is swamping me.
Oh so true, and one reason I reopened the building for fellowship while knitting.
Thank you for the encouragement to mingle with like-minded folks in real face-time fellowship. There is such a group of ladies in my church, spear-headed not by the church, but by one of the ladies. They meet monthly for breakfast at various locations throughout the city, and I have joined them twice. I’m better at making excuses than time. But I need the fellowship as much as anyone else, so I’ll make more of an effort to be consistent at showing up. –Angela, your FMF neighbor, #49
So true Ingrid. We need to step out of our comfort zone and make time for fellowship. I’m so guilty! Thank you.
I love this, Ingrid! Thank you for sharing.
I love this!