When the battle’s the hardest
…it’s love that fights the strongest. Don’t go it alone.
As I clicked the latch on the front door near the noon hour on Saturday, the quiet of the room echoed the holy hush of God’s presence. He dwelt with us. We went well over the time we committed to run back into the busyness of errands, celebrations, sports and activities of our weekends. But we barely noticed, as the viral threads of love stitched hearts and souls, and hemmed us in at the edges to keep each one from unraveling. I sat and wept over the sheer witness of transformed lives in the midst of battle. How does God do this?
I later asked my friend, “How do you duplicate this?
What I was asking myself was, how do you share this experience–Jesus in the midst in big ways–and hearts so wide and so pliable that it exposes triumph and tragedy…
and we all win?
How do we transfer what happens between my kitchen and living room as ten to sixteen weary warriors trudge in, choosing to re-create an Acts 2 community over hot coffee instead of the warmth of a comforter on a dark morning, because the great Comforter offers so much more in the context of community?
How do I convey to the church that it’s missing so much by making community elective when we choose to be so selective with our time and our choice of people outside of Sunday mornings? This is so much more than Connect Groups. It’s disconnected lives with little in common but the gossamer fiber of Jesus and a willingness to become a braided cord of community, who make room for Immanuel to step in and break down walls of independent, self-sustained cocoons…and make them stronger. The bravado of stepping out into community returns more than just discipleship numbers. It rewards the one who says I’m not like you, your age nor your color, I don’t understand you, but I understand why I’m here; I’m an adopted heir of Jesus, and that makes me your sister or your brother.
And the reward is an encounter with the living Christ.
All we do on Saturday mornings is come with transparency in our souls and a longing for more than what we walk in with. But we come to connect; then God shows up. Some carry cumbersome burdens, some hidden insecurities, some secret sins, some silly stories and all we seek is to know and be known. Yes God shows up in, through and around each other.
How do I convey to the church that it’s okay to let down your guard… that it’s okay to need each other? …That yes, it’s important to gather as a large Sunday body and collectively honor and worship the risen King, but you pour out your heart in a large, darkened room, with an empty seat positioned between one another…and that’s not Christ’s best for you? Your Sunday check-in and polite smile is not going to pick up your self-contained, self-maintained brokenness when life kicks your butt and no one’s there to take your hand but maybe a spouse or parent if you have one.
Sweet church, it’s okay to need each other.