There’s something known to be proven in my experience of being in community.
If people gather together in a space and are asked to share their story over a bowl of chili, something holy will happen sooner or later.
You find all these connections between yourselves, and somehow the whole world brings itself to your corner.
Our church launched Koinonia Groups this week, and ours met for chili in our little place.
Some of us are vegetarians and some are meat eaters; some drink our coffee black and some load it with cream; we like tortilla chips or we don’t, but we all like Miki’s chocolate cake.
When you’re seated in a circle, looking each other in the face, it’s pretty clear that the choice is to engage or disengage, open up or close tight, be vulnerable or stay inside yourself where no one else can reach.
Our church is going through a big transition, a big growing pain that hurts for some more than others, hurts for everyone in different ways.
And in the overlap of sharing these stories, of finding our commonalities and differences, we see the soul perspective.
The importance of sharing with each other is to understand each other. If I know your hurt, if I know your history, I understand your needs, I understand your reactions, and appreciate your perspective without having to agree with it.
And there, the church has some growing up to do, because we do not honor the story or the story-teller.
When the glass if half empty to you, it’s half full to me; and when I’m all tired out, you hold me up then and there, and it’s a constant cycle for the rest of our lives and into eternity.
This is about more than the optimist and the pessimist, about more than a personality type. This is the church being the church.
This is people being people.
This is what it looks like for honor to beset honor.
And there we find something that is nectar to us, a full soul-meal, a sort of communion in our coming together and serving one another.
If we are to take seriously the work of loving each other, we should take seriously the work of hearing each other. And if we take seriously the work of hearing each other, there is nothing left to do but give thanks for the benevolent journey we walk together every single day of our lives.
So get out the bowls and cook the chili, friends.
Put the chairs in a circle and speak life out of reverence for each other’s lives, and see what happens.