There we were, all six of us. Sitting at a table together, partaking of lunch, and searching for things we had in common. Considering that of the six of us, we attend five different churches, and also the fact that we didn't all know one another, we understood from the getgo that we had differences. But the one who had brought us together had her commonalities with each of us, so surely the rest of us could find them with each other! Finding similarities though...? It takes commitment. It takes time. It takes listening and talking and opening of hearts and fears and hopes and dreams.
It takes the heart stuff.
It takes skipping past all the weather questions and the "how are you"s and the general small talk that some are so good at. Me? Not so much. Give me your hopes and prayer requests and the parts of your life that you struggle with. Because that's where I'm going to understand you. That's where the other five ladies and I understood one another today! We sat and looked at each other and decided we were just going to go for it.
The eyes, they looked at your face as you spoke.
The ears, they listened attentively.
The mouths, they spoke confidently sometimes and hesitantly others.
The hearts, they opened and love fell in.
And the commonalities? They rushed in like the wind. The heads were nodding, the smiles of understanding popped up, the hands reaching out to reassure and simply administer touch. (The feel of another person who cares can make a world of a difference, can't it? Whether it's a squeezing of the hand, hugging tightly, a hand on the shoulder, or even a hand around the shoulder. Touch heals.)
Just a simple lunch and yet oh so complicated. Because the heart stuff? It's hard, my friends. Sharing the struggle, searching for words to describe all the feels, it requires vulnerability and giving up of self. And self does not like to be given up, let me tell you! But you look into the eyes of another person and you see the love there, you see the gentleness and the sweetness of persuasion, of someone who truly wants to know, and the fears can slip away like water.
Relationships were meant for this! Relationships were meant to go deeper into the heart and soul of a person and draw out the fear, doubt, pain, all the hard, and replace it with understanding and hope! Because hope makes such a difference. And we all need reminded of this. We forget, we make the struggle and loneliness comes, and our hearts build walls. Tall ones. Big ones. Thick ones.
But love? And hope? And people who understand? And who seek to know and help and pray? Walls come tumbling down by those things.
And hearts are knit together, eyes are lifted up, and God is smiling.