Monday, December 10, 2012

My Weekend: Experiencing Community

{The larger candle is a gift from the ladies of my church; my little man made the smaller one.}

On of my 2013 goals for this online space of mine is to share more of my life with you; the things that are more real and more meaningful than fashion and decorating {though, those topics will still be covered from time to time because they are a part of who I am}.  Honestly, I don't know why I haven't shared much in the past except that it doesn't come easily for me.  But, because I know that our personal stories are what often bind us together, I will make more of an effort to share mine here with you.

With that, I'd like to tell you about my weekend:

This weekend was "Membership Weekend".  Now, before I get into more detail, please allow me to explain how membership works in our church {or, at least, how it did for us}: membership classes were one Saturday a month, for four months, and anyone who was interested in learning more about the church was encouraged to take them.  Because my husband and I were already feeling lead to join, we did not hesitate to jump in with both feet.

After four months worth of learning about the church and refreshing my heart about the basics of the gospel, we were invited to join the church by attending "Membership Weekend"; an event that had been in the planning stages for months and many of the details were kept a surprise from the newer members.  All we knew was that those who had already joined the church wanted to use this weekend to shower us with love and to serve us.

And, that's exactly what they did...

From the moment my husband and I got out of our cars, we were not allowed to lift a finger.  Someone took my bags and bedding to my bunk and someone else made my bed.  Someone had carefully placed a small gift {see LOVE candle above} and an array of cards on the bed for me to find and someone else had even made Little Man a gift {large thermos with his name on it; filled with candy}, though they didn't realize he wouldn't be there.  Even some of the older kids {mostly preteen age and mostly boys - which was impressive} took our "order" for each meal time and brought our food to us.

My favorite {albeit, most awkward} part for me, was when the pastors of our church {we have three; all with assigned roles} and their wives knelt down before my husband and I to wash our feet.  I had never experienced this act of love before and it did feel a little weird at first.  I mean, I don't always like the people at the nail salon touching my feet and I'm paying them to do so.  But I was not going to refuse my pastors and their wives of this gift because it is such a wonderful picture of what Christ did for his followers.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.

One thing that stuck out to me this weekend was how much these people {whom I already enjoyed being around and I already cared for deeply} became my family.  The Bible tells me that they, as fellow believers, are literally my brothers and sisters.  Never before have I been in a church where I felt like I could genuinely call anyone family.  But, this church?  These are my family members.  They're my people.  They are my community.

Community.  We all want it but we're not sure how to get it.  This weekend, I learned the secret to community...


Simple as that...

Literally wash feet?  Maybe.  But, the entire point of the example Jesus gave us was that He humbled himself to the point of a servant and did something that He was not required to do.  How you humble yourself and serve others may look entirely different...

Think of someone in your life who needs community.  How can you "wash their feet"?  Maybe you know a single mom who could use help with childcare.  For that woman, watching her babies IS washing her feet.  Maybe you know an elderly gentleman who could use some company.  For him, sitting with him and reading him a book IS washing his feet.

This weekend, my feet were washed.  They were washed literally - with soap, water, and towel - but, they were also washed figuratively.  With each plate of food that was placed before me.  With every hug and kind word.  I have experience community with this body of believers.  Now it is up to me to take what I have been given and to give to to others who need it; to be on the lookout for people who could use community in the form of washing their feet, in whatever way that may be.

God Bless,

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