Fostering Fellowship

Last night, we did something which we haven’t done for what must be close to a hundred years: we invited a bunch of people over for dinner.

There were twelve of us in all, plus Nip and Nap, who weren’t quite sure what to make of this sudden influx of people. We ate salad and baked potatoes and apple crisp until we were full to bursting, and, in honor of fall, we carved pumpkins. (For the sake of full disclosure: everyone else carved pumpkins. I found that assembling an apple crisp and putting leftovers away were rather convenient excuses for keeping my complete and utter lack of artistic ability hidden from my friends.)

It felt good to have people here, to open up our home again, to have it be filled with the joyful sounds of laughter, of conversation, of people enjoying being together. The last time we did something of the kind was in January, back before life took it’s unexpected turn and we climbed on the crazy roller coaster that was the past nine months. Opening our door again was right and good, and I realized that I felt alive again. (In fact, on the Facebook invitation I sent, that was the title of the event – We’re Still Alive. And Still Fun.)

It reminded me of a few things, this fun evening with friends. One – that I am so grateful and so blessed to be a part of this community, to have such people in my life. I know without a doubt that each person who was here last night has prayed for us faithfully over the past several months, and that they are just a small percentage of the people for whom that is true. It didn’t enter the conversation at all – we talked about carving pumpkins, and Halloween traditions, and memories, and life in general – but that unspoken deep love and concern that we carry for each other was just beneath the surface, providing the foundation for everything else.

Two – I want to use my home and my life in such a way that fosters fellowship. I want to be intentional about relationships, to create situations and times when friendships can be built. These casual dinners, these times of hanging out and eating together and talking about the weather – these are the things that lead to the deeper things, the times of being there during a crisis, of praying and loving and supporting during the hard times. We were meant to share our lives with those around us and the more we do so, the more meaningful our time here on earth will be.

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