The energy was electrifying. Laughter was the loudest sound to be heard, followed by lots and lots of animated conversation. Some were reminiscing, some were catching up on life and some were discussing deeper matters of the heart. All of it felt real, intimate and connected.
One of life’s greatest blessings is friendship. Friends that have sailed with you on sunny beautiful days and those that have stuck by your side during the rough seas of life’s journey. Friends who, while interested in the work you do, do not care what that work is. The interest is you, and the passion, creativity and challenges that are lived out in your work. Friends who value you not for your material worth, or even lack thereof, but rather for the person you are. The deep connection is relational, not positional. And friends who are inclusive – always open to expand the circle, set another place at the table, are the ones we share life’s journey with.
The vast majority of my friends and I have a shared history with one or more faith communities. The congregation I grew up in, my childhood camp, youth or young adult programs I was involved with, other congregations I have been a part of or retreats I have attended. The shared history in these faith communities have given us a shared story, one that is still being written. The common narrative at its core is transformation. Summer camp, wedding, Christmas Eve, funeral, retreat, baptism or some combination all have been shared experiences in which the Kingdom of God has come near. Once that happens, not only is your life changed, but your relationship with those you share it with is also changed forever.
My hope and prayer for you is that you are creating space this summer to gather with those who have shared the journey with you. And together, that you continue to share in the journey of transformation.