Of all my recent weekend endeavors, this weekend has shown me what a manifestation of community looks like. Community showed up all weekend, with out a plan or a program, without ‘intentionality’ and without reason. This weekend, so many of my ‘worlds’ crisscrossed and I found out that these different strings that connect to make up the complex web that is my world, is really not different worlds at all- but rather one big, intermingled, fantastic, complicated string…of sorts.
Here’s a run down of how community was in everything i did this weekend.
– On Friday, Matt and I had dinner and then Luke and Oliver came over to my place to watch the Raptors game. Both of these guys are Matt’s close friends and I couldn’t help but feel really lucky that we could all sit around on a Friday night and watch the basketball game together. Perhaps more importantly, I felt so grateful that Matt has such good friends- funny, wise, solid- generally good people who care more about others than they do for themselves. I’m so thankful that we get to live our lives surrounded by people like that.
– Then on Saturday I went wedding dress shopping. My mom and two of my closest friends came and the we met up with Matt’s mom and sister. And not to be cliche, but it was pretty exciting having my family and my soon to be family there. It’s not about the dress but more about being surrounded by people who love me- and then getting to watch them interact and enjoy each other. It was almost mind blowing to hear everyone tell me about how much they love the other women in my life. She’s soooo great” Um, yes, I know! That’s why we’re friends! I did buy a dress, and while everyone who I love wasn’t there, it was still very meaningful.
-Then on Sunday morning a big group of us had brunch together- this is a pretty regular Sunday tradish and one of the many benefits of having a night church gathering like we do at FRWY. These brunches are such good times- not only what’s not to love about a delish potluck brunch, but also because it’s such a perfect time to get to know people better. Brunch time, in it’s low key, make fun of Dave’s Coronation Street obsession-time is really a sacred time. And in a way, it is church to me.
-Sunday afternoon, Matt and I play in an ultimate league where there is an entirely different community. We love playing -it’s fun to be active, challenged, and competitive. And while our Ultimate League friends aren’t our BFFs, we look forward to seeing everyone each week and attempting to win games together.
-Finally, on Sunday night, Church Time rolls around. It’s nice to get to FRWY with enough time before the gathering starts to grab a tea and chat with friends. I sat on a comfy leather couch yesterday, and just looked around- the space was buzzing with life. Teaming with humanity- children, seniors, students, families, street-involved. And let me tell you, it’s an amazing sight. I felt so lucky to be part of such a motley crew of people…so thankful to be a part of a community that includes people I would never otherwise have gotten the chance to know. The singing, the speaking, the discussion is all meaningful and relevant, but last night, for me, just being there was enough. Just looking around- watching people interact and really BE A PART of each others lives. It’s easy to go to a church where you fill a seat every Sunday morning and just leave. You might learn a bit from the speaker, you might feel like you’ve fulfilled your Christian duty to attend church, but I’d like to suggest that you’re not really attending church at all. Church is what happens the rest of the week when we live our lives together. When we go outside of our own homes and walls to try to make the city a little better. Chruch is what happens when we break bread together, in the form of fantastic cranberry brie and baguettes on someone’s livingroom floor for pic-nic brunch. Church happens when we’re real about our fears, our failures and our bank overdrafts.
This weekend felt like a giant hug, to be a bit nauseating, but everywhere I went I was surrounded by people who I care about and who care about me. And so when Monday comes, and I’m back to work- slightly worried about a giant event that I’m IN CHARGE OF coming up this Friday, I am grounded by all of these people and these not-so-distant memories of community and love. These are the very same people that I can vent to if my event flops, or ask for prayer so maybe my event won’t flop- most importantly, these are the people who make it almost irrelevant if I have a terrible week at work, or miss the boat on something, or if things don’t run perfectly smooth. Community roots us in truth, in what matters and what lasts. What a lovely reminder this weekend was of this fact.
I hope that you are surrounded by people who love you, who call out the best in you, who let you be real and vulnerable and who pray for your work events to run without a hitch- and dry your tears if they don’t.