The other night Corrie & I had the privilege of having a long overdue dinner with friends.
However, these are not just any old friends. These are the kind of friends that remind you how your life was created to be lived in the grace-rhythm of community. The kind of grace-rhythm that surpasses the things our culture offers as substitutes to fill the empty spaces.
We arrived and knocked on the back door gently pushing it open past their boys muddy shoes on the door step. When people enter through the back door they get a glimpse of who you really are. You can only trust that they see muddy shoes not for the dirt but as a sign of life being lived running through the yard battling space aliens, gunslingers, and hidden bad guys. The back door invites you to begin in a different place as the front door is too often staged for appearances to stay in place.
After a quick embrace and some small talk about which IPAs we trust and which ones we don’t, we entered a home filled with new life, aromas of the south, and a single table alone in the dining room.
Our gracious host explained, “Sorry we don’t have any chairs for the table, and well…it’s a long story.”
Without a pause we settled into the den waiting for the bread to finish. As we lifted our pints we poured over maps showing rolling hills, vast deserts, motherless children, and the absence of Jesus in orthodox places. Over the illuminating map on the small coffee table, we leaned in and I could smell the beer.
Soon the sounds of dinner being prepared for the children (aka our defenders of the galaxy) pulled us back to the States to make our plates and pour the wine that whispers memories of anniversaries & peace. Now, with our bowls in hand we returned to the den to gather again around the map table.
Without chairs we settled on the floor allowing the glasses to get mixed up on the table between us. Over the course of the next couple hours, we laughed, listened intentionally, shared stories of far away birth countries, and how people count the names of the believers with their fingers. We drank deeply of life, of hope, and of Jesus.
That evening, sitting on the floor, we leaned into eternal things while the battle of the galaxy was waged around us. It is a battle against unseen enemyies being fought by children, by families, and the marginalized. It is a battle that pulls fishermen from their nets and sets them on a road toward an upper room absent of chairs. Absent of the kind of chairs that allow us to lean back into the places of false comfort to wait for life to come to us.
As the grace-rhythm unfolded, we let our lives lean forward around the map table. It was around that small table that we once again shared the bread and wine of New Life.
The New Life we have and the New Life we hope for.