Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Here's to Community

Hey there. Just back from the Big D. It was a privilege of mine to be around some awfully wonderful people this weekend. Here are the church elders of the congregation to which I spoke on Sunday. 

The membership is mainly comprised of believers from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The church was celebrating its 6th anniversary as a congregation and asked me to speak. 

While in Texas I also spent a lot of time with this dear lady. Mom is 92 years young. 

She lost dad two years ago after 69 years of marriage. 

We stayed up late into the night talking about the Lord and his faithfulness. Her life is like a deep well of truth. I sat and drank it all in as she talked. 

I also managed to get in some exercise -- much needed in view of all the eating out we did. Monday's triathlon was very well attended despite the heat and humidity that's plaguing DFW these days. 

I am glad to see that the body marking included not only your race number but your age. 

Below is my gun time at the finish. My chip time was 2:09. I am very okay with that. 

As I wrote before I left for Dallas, this time every September is like an emotional roller coaster for me. I am always astonished at how life can throw things at you that shake you to the core. When this happens, you get very clear, very fast about what is important. Life in community (be it a "church" community or a "running" community or a "family" community) means that you can open the door and someone will always be on the other side, someone who can hold your hand when your life is a blur. It means that you're never really alone. We weren't meant to grieve a loss by ourselves. Life is so much easier, so much richer, when you're doing it shoulder to shoulder with a community of people who can be strong when you are weak, when you ask "Why did I lose her?" 

Once again I'm left in awe of the way God orchestrates our lives. He weaves our stories together. Now mom and I both know the heartache of being widowed. We have front row seats to some of the most incredible blessings from the God of all comfort. 

It makes you long for your other home, not the one on the other side of the continent but the one on the other side of the universe, that home where community means everything and personal space means nothing, where the praise of God comes as easily as breathing. 

So here's to many more late nights of shared hearts and shared praise. To worshiping with Africans. To Mexican food. To trips to the cemetery. To strolls down memory lane. 

Here's to community.