As mentioned before, one of the hard things about moving is making new connections. Some connections are thrust upon us, through new jobs or new schools. Others have to be sought out and pursued.
What is obvious to me is our need of connection. It is not good for people to be alone, as God himself stated in Genesis 2. The Trinity has been in eternal community with each other, and desires community for us as well. The enemy fights against that. He loves it when we are isolated, lonely, and listening only to his twisted lies, or to our own thoughts which go round and round, and are likely ill-informed and dull, without the sharpening influence of others.
In our ongoing search for a new church community, it became clear that a welcoming attitude and warm greeting could go a long way in overlooking other aspects that might not be as appealing.
At last week’s potential ‘new church home’, there was a “meet and greet” time that was enthusiastically embraced by its members. In fact, it seemed to go on forever–at least 5 minutes. That’s a long time when you are only greeted by one person, who turns around from the pew in front of you, says “hello”, shakes your hand, and then nothing else. We stood awkwardly for awhile, then sat down and waited for the roar to quiet down and the sermon to begin.
Afterwards, we walked reasonably slowly toward the doors, and wondered if anyone would approach us.
No one did.
We might have given the benefit of our doubts; but it was squashed under the seeming lack of interest in The New Family, sitting alone in a pew.
Perhaps it was God’s plan for us to have the church that seems to match up better theologically, be the one that was the friendliest.
[Well, other than our "home" denomination church that we visited on the first Sunday, which was stiff as a frozen towel left out on clothesline in a Nebraska winter. :( ]
It certainly makes the choice easier—do we go to the church that made us feel the most welcome? The one that seemed genuinely glad we were there? The people who actually asked about us and seemed interested in us?
I also had the urge from the Spirit this week to make some bread to take over to our two nearest neighbors, as a way of connecting with them some more. The urge had to be from the Spirit, because a) I have a historically awful track record of making bread from scratch, and b) it is much more my inclination to not do it, and just stay home.
I had, however, made this recipe that was pinned by my daughter-in-law on Pinterest, and it actually turned out well; so the excuse of “I can’t make bread!” was shot down. And I knew enough to know that the thoughts of “they won’t want any bread; they don’t want you to bother them; they are not interested in knowing you” were again, whispers of the enemy. I’d heard them before.
They didn’t carry as much weight this time.
(Plus, I had already told my mom that I was going to do it, and I knew she would probably ask me about it on our Monday phone call. :) Accountability and all that.)
So, after our two-mile hike in the glorious sunshine of Sunday, Marc and I headed over to the neighbors’ houses, first one, and then the other.
And guess what? They were pleased to see us. They invited us in. They visited with us.
And we even met up with another neighbor who was out walking, in between the other two visits.
We made connections.
It isn’t much. They may not be end up being our “best friends”.
But it’s a start. It’s a connection.
And even though it’s small, it feels good.