There’s something so strange about first meetings. No one really knows each others back stories yet- what your family is like; what your testimony is; how you feel about where you’ve been and where you are now; what college football team you root for. (Ok, actually we covered that in depth thanks to my husband’s inability to let it go when someone mentions Texas. It’s out first meeting for Pete’s sake- let it go!) Everyone is ready to get to know each other but you tip toe cautiously as you don’t know yet their sensitive territory. So there’s lots of small talk and joking and complimenting of the White Chicken Chili. (Which was totally yummy- thanks Kirsten!)
But then we begin to open God’s word and someone bravely reads out loud the passage from Galatians 6 and we begin to discuss: “How does the Gospel keep us from becoming weary in doing good? Is reaping and sowing good news or bad news? Why do we need to take care of our pastor’s?” Something beautiful happens. The back story fades away as God’s story in each of our lives emerges. People share thoughts and experiences and how God reminds them of His goodness and before you know it- it feels like family. I’m always amazed by that dynamic. In our group we had a set of grandparents, us (parents of teenagers) a couple with toddlers, some single people and some married with no kids. It was an eclectic mix to be sure. Yet I left feeling connected to people I had never had a conversation with before. I’m still interested to learn the back stories and like any family, as the new wears off, there will be annoying traits and odd-ball quirks to contend with, messy issues and hurts. But as long as we stay focused together in Jesus- it works.
I’m really excited for our next meeting. Completely thankful to be welcomed into the lives of these people. And ready to share some life.