“I love how our lives and loves are intertwined”. I wrote those words in a text to a close friend a couple of weeks ago. They’ve stuck with me. They describe February.
In February I have watched and observed how the people that I’m joined to have cared and loved each other and extended that to the the people that their lives touch, that in turn touch others lives. The connections are so interwoven that in my mind its like a crazy diagram linking people together that ends up looking more like a kaleidoscope than a neat chart of an organisation. That’s how I’d describe our church this past month – a kaleidoscope of lives and loves intertwined. We are facing heartache from many angles and time and time again I hear the stories of the church stepping in with prayer and consolation and genuine love for each other. Texts, cards, anonymous rhubarb crumbles on the porch, prayer ambushes in coffee shops, tears spilled, fasts observed, hands held and silence shared.
And people just calling at the door to see if they can do anything. Somewhere from my childhood till here the habit of ‘dropping in’ has almost disappeared. Almost… but in a crisis, in a time of unbelievable pain and tragedy our hearts overtake the part of our heads that say ,”you can’t just land on someone’s doorstep, how presumptuous, that’s what our parents generation used to do and even they aren’t that rude anymore.” We assume that we’ll be intruding, that our presence at the door will be an annoyance, when all the while our hearts are burning to just see the person, look them in the eye and offer to help. What I’ve heard from the people in anguish is the overwhelming sense of being cared for, not feeling like their lives are being intruded, but actually deeply touched that someone would risk the embarrassment of just turning up unannounced or uninvited. There’s an incalculable gift in hugging, absorbing tears and simply nudging people to Jesus for all they need. Because truth is, in every circumstance, in every moment, in EVERYTHING, Jesus is all we need. Always. Everytime. Jesus.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This is the official text for February 2013 in my world. Jason said it well on Sunday leaning into this text. For me it means we trust our Father to do good especially in the difficult, traumatic times when only God could do good. We trust that He is still in control, even if it feels like our lives have literally been turned upside down and inside out. We remind ourselves of His faithfulness before and lean into His faithfulness now not when it begins to feel more manageable but right in the middle of the hurricane of pain and devastation. It always the right time to lean into back into the arms of our Father. Always. In every situation.
In the middle of the grief and heart-breaking news of February we said goodbye to a family that has been part of VCD from the very beginning. Letting them go also revealed an intertwining of our lives that goes unnoticed most days. The number of people who I love who love each other too. This kaleidoscope of interweaving lives is exactly how I dreamed church could be like before we planted VCD 9 Years ago. Their goodbye is a happy-sadness, the pain comes from loving and sharing and attempting to disentangle them just enough to let them go to their next adventure, to another family/church/community. We let go just enough so they can also become intertwined into another kaleidoscope of lives and loves in Canada.