Kinda like Beastie Boys, but different. ðŸ™‚
Yesterday evening we had our gathering at NFC, seeking what next step God has for us as a church body. It was a grand time of sharing, questioning, noticing, and blessing. Gregg started off the meeting saying folks knew he was a bit scattered, but in the words of Aj, ìOur job is to be present, and we fully expect that Godís going to show up!î To which a friend sitting next to me leaned over and whispered, ìThatís your Dadís phrase! He says that all the time!î Ooops. I stole from my dad: I hope he doesnít mind. At least that means *something* sunk in, though he doesnít get any credit. Such is parenthood, eh?
One word that came up over and over in the meeting was the word ìrelationshipsî: with each other in the church, with those in our daily lives, with those who float in and out of our lives at certain time periods, those that are lacking between church and the world. Gregg asked how we saw Christ “bustiní out” of NFC (which again, he credited to me, but itís really from John Macy, and he mightíve stole it from someone else. Man, weíre a bunch of thieving Quakers!).
One friend talked about how sheís been going for more walks around Newberg with her dog; because of this, sheís noticed a lot more going on in Newberg – and an overwhelming sense she gathers is that of loneliness. She got emotional talking about sensing the ache of these people who are not being known by others. She, like I so often do, apologized for her show of emotions, but I sensed that it was a God-placed thing: emotions are there to alert us to something going on.
When Judah was little, days were looooong, and a walk around the block (or blocks, depending on how long I had to walk to keep him safe ñ from me ðŸ™‚ ) was the only answer. I began to notice things going on in my neighborhood – the Hispanic family who always seemed to have giant family parties that made me want to ask if they could adopt us for the day, the kids who didnít have anything else to do but sit around and throw rocks at cars, the house that never seemed to sell, the woman who so meticulously took care of her lawn that she didnít seem to have time for anything else, the house that didnít seem to know how to operate a lawnmower or figure out if this was a recycling or garbage debris week – usually getting it backwards and leaving their full cans on the street for a good couple of days. Walking around town, I had time to notice things invisible to the driverís eye. And I, too, gathered an overwhelming sense of loneliness.
My friendís planning on doing something about it. She knows the background of some of these folks whose houses she walks past, has baked some pumpkin bread, and plans on giving it to them. She says itís so simple and obvious that itís stupid, and yet somethingís held her back from doing anything about it before now. Sometimes it seems like the simplest things that are the hardest: we scratch our heads, knowing that thereís got to be more to it. It makes me wonder what simple things God calls me to do more with in my life . . .