Yesterday while doing a little shopping, I ran into a woman who I have known for many years principally through our children’s school and more recently by attending the same church (which some of you may recall is no longer the case.) I could hear the question before it was even out of her mouth, so I was prepared to answer boldly.
“Where are you fellowshipping these days?” she asked.
“No where” I answered strongly, because I refused to feel guilty about our decision. I then, of course, hemmed and hawed around about how “It is hard and we are looking, blah blah blah.”
Walking away I felt like I had just told a big fat lie…not the “we are looking” part, but the “no where” part. It felt like such a falsehood, because in reality I am fellowshipping daily with the world; with myself; with my internet friends; on the phone with my sister; with my husband as we talk about our faith journey; with anyone really who wants to be even a little bit authentic or at least listen to me as I practice my often feeble attempts ☺.
So, what is fellowship? In the way this woman asked, it felt so confining...like a single building in which to perform ritual on a specific day and time of the week. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in ritual and gathering together in relationship, but fellowship feels so much bigger to me than something we just do on Sunday morning.
As I thought about this I realized that this week alone, I have made new friends in Paris, Scotland and a number of other places around the world. I witnessed an amazing sunrise through the sharing of a man’s childlike drawing he made to remember the red of the sky flashing in house windows…that is fellowship. Strangers and friends from all over listened to my heart and said, “Go! Go! Go!!” rather than scoffing at me like I was a naughty child…that is fellowship. When my heart connects with the beauty of nature; the moon, the sun, the cold air on my face, the flowers at the market…that is fellowship.
Fellowship is not simply held inside four walls with a designated group of “believers”. It is life. The homeless man on the street. The laughing infant in the coffee shop. The "stranger" in Paris. So, back to the original question: “Where am I fellowshipping these days?” EVERYWHERE! And it feels really good to say that and mean it!!! So, my friends, I leave you with the same question to ponder…
Where are you fellowshipping?
photo by lucy taken on a recent neighborhood walk