“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”Philemon 1:7
We need friends to share our journey.
Here is a quote from Dinah Craik. She says, “Oh the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person-having either to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
That’s what the Chinese call their tea time. It translates as touching the heart. Dim sum is linked to the centuries of old tradition of drinking tea which began with travelers needing a place to rest on the ancient Silk Road in china. As merchants traveled long journeys to sell their goods, teahouses dotted the roadsides giving sojourners respite and refreshment. Because we are all on a journey of faith, we need a place to rest and refresh. We are all in the middle of something none of us seem to quite understand. A journey where we need a time to refresh our souls with friendship. We need the refuge of a friend that understands and provides that safe haven.
Our unfinished stories are what we seem to hide from one another when it is what truly revitalizes our soul. Because you see, we all face unknown chapters, vulnerable to questions we can’t answer and unexpected turns when life goes off script. What gives us strength for the journey is to know we are not alone. So do you long to be refreshed? Stop and refresh your soul with a friend. Dare to be known. Share your unfinshed stories.
Maybe you are like me, good at connecting with people to get things done. It’s easier to keep busy and build friendships based on what I think others want or may need form me. But we aren’t created to journey alone. We need friends to welcome us as we live our stories, unfiltered. Sometimes what keeps us isolated from having close friends are wounds from past hurtful friendships.
Even with all the modern technology in place today studies show that we are the loneliest generation. We have lost the intimacy of being known. We’ve become adept at connecting with lots and lots of people on social media about thing we do and how we do them, but we hide who we really are and how we really feel. Too many of us are desperately lonely.
Dare to be refreshed by friends. Real friends with live bodies that you can talk to face to face. Share burdens with and eat with and fellowship with. Let other people get to know you.
One way to do this is to join a life group or small group in your church. I love my small group. We have great fellowship, great discussions and best of all they know my story and they love me anyway! We share each other’s stories and our lives in community together. Rooted is the beginning of such a journey. If you haven’t found one to join contact me and I will help you get started.
Before Rooted, there was no one I could trust with my heart and my needs. But staying silent with our stories comes at a cost. There is not greater burden than an untold story. We first did Rooted as a staff and I waited until the very end to tell my story and I kept hoping that Pastor Michael would forget that I hadn’t shared my story, but no such luck. It was really hard to share my hurts with my peers but once I did I realized that I was robbing others by not sharing where God has brought me from to where I am today! And I found in sharing my unfinished story with others helped them to open up and share with me as well.
God whispers in Galatians 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens.
Two are better than one…For if either of them falls, the one will life up his companion. Furthermore if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone. And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This passage is often read at weddings but these words were meant for everyday travelers who had to walk from town to town. They were exposed to the cold elements and robbers at night when they stopped to sleep and rest. We all need this comfort and security; a friend to refresh us on the journey.
Dim sum. Touch the heart. Friendship- it’s food for the soul. Dare to share your unfinished story. Dare to be known. Be refreshed. Give yourself permission to: Make time for friendships. Refresh your heart with real soul-to-soul conversations. Be vulnerable. Prioritize one-on-one with a friend or two. Stop off the road of business.
Larry Crabb writes, “When spiritual friends share their stories…they rest. There’s nothing to fix, nothing to improve…Gather with other travelers on the narrow road, pilgrims who acknowledge their confusion and feel their fears. Then together, live those questions in God’s Presence.”
Are you in the middle of an unfinished story on your journey of faith? Is God inviting you to find a friend to carry the burden with you? Then, take the risk. Invite someone in. Dare to be known. Join a Rooted group
Love you all,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods