Sunday, April 29, 2007
Dwelling Together in Unity
They've scarcely walked out the door, and I am tearfully wishing them back. We all have friends like this, I am sure (if not, I am only too sorry for you). Friends that you start on the same page each time you get together, and pick up reading the chapter you had been reading together before. Friends whose growth challenges you, and whose speech is peppered real questions and insights. There is also a level there that people scarcely reach together -- wherein your familiarity gains you ground to be utterly real, utterly comfortable, never even thinking of trying to impress, only share in gladness and joy together. Truly, this level is so ideal for Christian unity that it must reflect the glorious unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I am speaking of our dear friends James and Christen Taylor who have been with us since Thursday for an amazing visit. James ran the Derby Marathon yesterday, which is worth reading about on these 2 links. I'll merely say it was a great deal of fun to watch, and quite inspiring to my own fitness goals. Josh and I are planning to run a 5k at the end of the summer, which is such small potatoes compared to this! We were so blessed with gorgeous weather and well-behaved kids being dragged around every which way.
Today we were able to take our friends to our beloved new church, Clifton Baptist. We simply adore the caliber of worship we enjoy there, and we were quite sure James and Christen would appreciate it as well. We're so blessed that Daniel and Hannah are so used to visiting churches from being out on deputation that they immediately immersed themselves into the church as well. Daniel had a "twin friend" (same sweater), and Hannah wanted to know if she could sit by some of her friends at lunch (unfortunately, just us at lunch).
I must say, though, the highlight of these hours together was what it always has been -- long talks, doing nothing much of anything but enjoying one another's company. Christen and I had 2 lovely afternoons of sitting outside just chatting and sharing -- how pleasant to get right down to real things without any formalities of small talk -- while the kids played. I thank Jesus -- my Best of Friends -- for understanding the true pleasure we frail humans might take in being with a friend. What a slice of Him we might know by enjoying the company of a person who understands and accepts us in our weaknesses, while all the while helping us improve our faults. I do so appreciate Christen's sensitivity to gossip and slander -- a sin I guiltily pet and entertain in my own life perhaps more than any other. How refreshing to have a conversation in which you do not ever once tear another person down.
I had a blast playing with the kids, too -- for those of you who know me, my "kid cup" needs filled pretty regularly, and can hold quite a bit! Daniel and I played outside together yesterday while Hannah napped, and swapped jokes that made absolutely no sense (many of the funniest things do not!). It's great to see someone growing up, and becoming more of the person the Lord is making them to be (does that make sense?).
My cup runs over. I am only too blest.