There was a long, comfortable silence before words were spoken again. He spoke and you could feel the weight of his words press on everyone. As he spoke he unloaded his burdens and past on all of us. We shared in the joy, and in the pain he felt. We became teary eyed when it was hard for him to go on or laughed when he talked about the awkward moments in middle school or high school. The group hadn't been together long, but I knew then that there was something amazing happening. Before all the drama that took place later. Before the guys leaving, and the group splitting. Before marriages and significant others. It was the time I loved biblical community the most.
My favorite parts of home group were not just during but after, when a heavy testimony or prayer night happened, when we would leave and go eat or hang out. Those nights were when the jokes were funniest, when time with the band of brothers that had formed meant more than anything we had to do in the morning.
Tonight was one of those nights; one of the many nights that I want to burn into my memory as being whole and holy. Untouched by anything else going on in the world or in our lives. We knew of all the calamity and oppression and silliness of the world, but for one night we helped a brother lift a burden off of himself. We helped him to trust in God because we cared enough to listen to the things he spilled out to us. Without judgment, without shame...just love and understanding. It is an amazing feeling that can't be duplicated or copied by any product. It can not be bottled up and sold or repeated the exact same way. These meetings....this community, shines more of the light that I want the entire world to see... to feel. As a group we walked farther in our faith because we trusted in something more than our selves, because we followed more than the standards of society. We brought joy to the creator by being transparent and open. By confessing that we need more than man can offer us. More than self help books, or psychiatrist's theories. More than drugs and logic. To me it is like looking out on the ocean in awe. Tonight I realized that God does more than the large miracles. He works and weaves in our lives, and even in us, a thread of His joy and grace.
Tonight brings strength, and faith in me. I am thankful for this band of brothers. These men who are learning to love and live, in return for how they have been loved.