Sometimes life is hard and sometimes it is amazing, but a lot of the time it can just feel kind of unspectacular and life just seems to roll along in an unspectacular fashion. Regardless of where we are on life’s mountain range it is pretty much always too busy and there are never enough hours in the day to fit everything in. There always seems to be laundry waiting to be folded, dishes to be packed away, emails to catch up on and the floor could always do with a hoover (or is that just in my house!)
So what a joy and what a gift it is when in the unspectacular mess of everyday life we can find moments of rest, moments of grace and others to share them with, and how much sweeter is this joy when these moments are unexpected!
On Thursday I had the privilege of spending the evening with four other ladies, only one of whom I knew. I turned up clutching a plate of brownies, ready to make small talk and hoping they would like me!
So it came as something of a surprise that this evening spent with strangers turned out to be one of these evenings of rest and grace and connection and at its end I came away from it reluctantly, feeling encouraged and uplifted and knowing that I had been in a safe place with amazing people.
What a gift!
What a gift it was to be able to share something of our stories together, real stories that mean something, that go beyond the pleasantries of normal conversation. What a gift it was to speak and to really feel heard, and to be able to offer that in return. What a gift it was to be quiet with others, to enjoy the warmth of the fire and the flickering of candles and the sweet presence of the Lord.
What a treasure this is. What a spectacular evening.
As I have been thinking about that time, the phrase “strength for the journey” keeps coming back to me. And I think that this is what time being real with others and sharing something of ourselves, brings. Strength for our journeys. Strength and encouragement for our everyday, normal, unspectacular lives. Encouragement to keep going, strength to keep seeking God and courage to see the spectacular in seemingly unspectacular circumstances.
I think that this is what fellowship is really about. Being real and honest and sharing ourselves and in so doing giving others strength on their journeys and in turn receiving strength for our own.
What a spectacular gift!