There is something precious that happens when woman of all ages hang out together and are truly comfortable with each other. It is a beautiful thing to be with girls aged 15 and woman aged 70+ for a weekend, and for there to be a spiritual connection, respect, acceptance and love between us all. As we all explored seeing Life through the eyes of a child (Mathew 18:3), the deep conversations and learning that happened for everyone in the room was amazing. There is true joy when walking through life together across the ages yet speaking the same language.
When we have eyes to see, God gives us glimpses of His love and joy and deep sacrifice. The afternoon was spent in laughter and adventure and a visual I may never get out of my head. As Laura was eating snacks she used two of the crackers to make duck bills, it was hilarious and all the girls got into the act. Then the very next morning, those same crackers were used for communion. I got the giggles to think of the visual of the night before, then a joyful smile as I felt prompted by God. I felt Him saying... “I will use the foolish things to bring glory to me. I will use the simple and the ordinary to bring not only joy and laughter, but also to cause you to remember the depths of my love.” Through the ordinary and simple, (communion) many will remember my love. And through the simple and ordinary things (me), He will fulfil His Purposes.
That morning’s worship was lead by the youngest of our group, who chose a song that has touched her heart recently, “man of sorrows”. It touched the older hearts in the room, in its words and sentiment as the song is also almost “hymn-like”, yet with the youngest, almost celtic voice (as described by one of the older ladies), her voice brought all ages together in worship to Him. There is nothing more beautiful than when the ages collide together and draw close to him. Age, gender, culture, upbringing, whether your have more or have very little, it is irrelevant in this space.
As we discovered throughout weekend, for some their childhood was full of wonderful memories, for some there were no positive memories at all. But for ALL their childhood was significant, and whether their family brought pain or joy, all was important to who they are now. For ALL, there was a time in their life, many of them when they were young, where God broke in and changed them forever. For me it was the consistent reminder of how family is a key influence for everyone. I long to see families thrive and be all that Christ desires for them. Pope Francis says “the home is the domestic church.” This particular weekend was the bringing together of the “females” in a number of domestic churches, and as we joined together there was harmony, peace, joy, acceptance and stretching.
The gift of the elders in our community is that they get the value of being, they understand the depth of God’s love and they live in a way that it naturally overflows from them. The gift of the young girls in our community is that they bring joy and passion and energy. They are empowered to question and share and they know how to really listen when wisdom speaks, and they were open. The gift of our community is that there is freedom, respect and true value and acceptance. Here God is at work. Is there any better way to spend a weekend?
My answer is YES, for when something is so wonderful, I ache for those who have never experienced this kind of love and acceptance across the ages in God’s presence. I long to see more and more households and people see that nothing is more Important. I believe God longs for this to be more than a couple of days a year, but for it to be every day, as we walk with HIM and together in TRUE community,
The sadness is that many choose NOT to walk in true community ... and they miss out.
We finished the weekend by asking the question - Is this the life-pattern you want for yourself? And how does this life-pattern affect those close to you?
My continual prayer is “How can I be a part of a movement that helps others see that within the busyness of life and the distractions that are ever present, nothing else matters but walking with HIM and others.
As God simply commands us.....
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbour as yourself” Luke 10:27