Over in Facebook, another conversation spurred some thoughts. It has to do with how our relationships with people is tied in with our relationship with God. Here’s my comment:
Our family is part of a regular gathering (aka, simple, organic, church gathering in a home) of 6-7 families, and over the years we are gradually growing in love, in vulnerability, in trust. It certainly hasn’t happened overnight. We’ve had to hack through some rough waters, offending people, bruising one another (hey, that’s not one of those “one-anothers” is it?!) – and I’ve been one of the biggest offenders. But this is life, eh? Early on we sensed the Lord say he was making love a primary focus – both his for us and the world around us, and his love growing in us for each other. And when we come together, sharing what he’s been up to in and through our lives is a focus, along with times of intimate worship of our King, and times of prayer and his gifts moving among us.
Over the years, what God has been doing in our relationships with him has been very connected with the growth of the relationships among the people. As love and safety grows, it’s like God says, “alright, that’s what I’ve been waiting for, now I’ve got some work to do in some folks here, and there’s gonna be some rough waters, but I’m going to use the environment I created with these relationships to do some amazing things.” And we learn to love people when they aren’t always lovely. And in time, everyone gets a go at being unlovely. And we see what God does through it, both in us, and through us, and we’re all amazed at God again, and find ourselves drawn to him afresh, with a greater faith in him rising up.
So the dynamics of good things among the relationships in the group is directly connected to coming into “more” in our relationship with God. For example, one thing I’m only vaguely coming to realize is that, as I be a mess in the group, people love me through it, I gain a sense of safety among my “hood”, I’m seeing a similar kind of safety in my relationship with God – the one who doesn’t want us to ever question his unending love. It’s beginning to put a fresh lens on “he who doesn’t love his brother stumbles around in the dark” – paraphrased from 1 Jn 2. I’m sure there’s much more to develop on this topic, so will be interested in other’s thoughts.
So, it’s my growing realization that the relationships among us are inextricably intertwined with our relationship with God, whether for better or for worse.