I have recently made some big changes in my life, changes that I and others have called a transitioning time. At the root of the transition was, I believe, a Spirit-led step into the world of writing and a purposeful cultivation of gifts of creativity that had been neglected or partially used in a sense of guilt. . .
The transitioning is now technically over and I'm in the process of starting the previously theoretical new life and finding the exotic rhythms of a completely different metronome.
As I wade through my back-burner projects, half-baked ideas, and once-preached sermons, I am coming across many a hastily written thought or footnote that I had completely forgotten, even though at the time of its writing, it had a sense of urgency and potential. If I did not recognize my own handwriting, I would say that the thoughts were not mine. (And even though my hand has written them, are they really mine? Are they from the Wind? Are they ours? Are all of these questions correct?)
So for my first official blog series, I want to share some of these Lost Quotes and dance with them a bit, even though some may prove to be toe-stomping in their graces where others may prove to be quite nimble in their tango. . .
I found an old sermon on community (something I taught on once or twice maybe), and bracketed in the margins was this quote:
"It's hard to carry each others' burdens when you can't carry a meaningful conversation."
I guess I wrote this when I was ranting about the intimacy of the original Spirit-led community in Acts which sold homes and land for each other compared to our frequently surface level interactions centered around a shared Christian event known as the church service (Blanket statement alert).
I always want to be careful to include extroverts and introverts when talking about the Life of the church, and I never want to insinuate that we all need to be magnetic personalities that draw all people to ourselves in rich dialogue about the lofty things of the faith. But I do want to say that I agree with the spirit of this forgotten quote. . .
To truly wade into each others' lives in a way that we get the dirt on our hands of their sincere burdens and struggles requires a level of trust and intimacy that cannot be established by just mutually sharing the same weekly event.
It takes the time and space of shared meaningful words and activities (most often to me meals and service) to forge the level of understanding, commitment, and vulnerability that leads to a fabric of love. . .as demonstrated not in emotion alone but in shouldering burdens together.
Carrying a meaningful conversation with someone is on our endangered species list as a church culture. . .and where it is already extinct, the witness of what the Body of Christ should be is already gone as well.