You know that feeling you get when you lie back in a hammock and watch the clouds go by? It’s a calming and restorative effect similar spending time with family and friends.
When I am battle-weary from life’s curve balls and I have prayed and cried and felt empty, when I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over me head and scream, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” When I want to isolate, God insulates me with friends and family. He surrounds me with the fellowship of the family of faith. Some fingerprints of fellowship evidence in my life these past few weeks:
- Texts from friends after the death of my dear aunt
- My son cooking me dinner of chicken nuggets after a long day going back and forth to the nursing home
- Hunter staying home with me and pampering me with my favorite candy and hanging a hammock for me to rest and grieve in
- The blessing of Aunt Sharon, sister-Anne and I being present, holding on to Aunt Michelle as she breathed her last and let go of this blue-green sphere to sail home to glory.
- A wedding the day after with friends and family celebrating the start of a new life together. While I still hold on to death in one hand, I hold to hope and life with another.
- Nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters and grandkids on the trampoline
- Conversations with relatives who empathize
And let us consider and give [d]attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love andhelpful deeds and noble activities,
Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.- Hebrews 10: 24, 25
When we are told not to forsake the fellowship, let us not mistake the message. It doesn’t mean you have to be in a church building. We are the church. We are the body. We fellowship when we celebrate together around an altar or a campfire. We sing around a bedside of one who is leaving this earth in the cool of a nursing home. We encourage one another while it is still today. We don’t wait for Sunday in a pew. Don’t hunker down in the pit, hoping things will get better. Expect they will and if your circumstances don’t improve, expect God to show up in the midst of them. Expect Him to send burden bearers across your path. Expect fellowship to bind up your wounds and medicate those infections that isolate. Expect the insulation of the Holy Spirit to wrap around you cold-weather worn heart and watch it spring forth to new life.
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