It’s kind of annoying when you’re the type that can write only when you feel inspired to (which isn’t very often), and when inspiration hits, it’s a very compelling go-write-now sort of smack indeed. And even more so when your laptop doesn’t work and so you’re on a borrowed computer from your dear roomie who’s already asleep. But, I am, and I must write.
This weekend was strange in that it was three days long, due to “snowstorm” [insert big smile], and that I played hostess a great deal. But it was also amazing in realizing the amazing sense of community God’s blessed me with here in C’ville.
So Jules was over the entire 3-day weekend; we call her our 7th roommate. She really does belong here, cooking with me, doing our dishes, yelling at Mel (in a nice way, of course), studying with us, even inviting people to *our* apartment. It’s neat to see how she has not only become a great friend to me and Mel but also to our other apartment-mates and, in the process, part of our life at Lambeth.
Saturday afternoon we (being my roommates and some CCFers) had a big snowball fight in the field behind our apartment. I got tackled during our attempt at snowfootball and maybe hit in the face with a snowball. We just had to spread the joy of getting pelted with snowballs, so we came up with a devious plan to lure the Vickster (who doesn’t exactly enjoy being outside in the snow) outside and ambush her with slushy white goodness. It involved asking her for some sesame oil; after our successful attack, I felt bad for taking advantange of her generosity (only a little) and so invited her and Dave and b.chiang to stay for dinner. The sesame oil was put to good use after all, and so was the 4-lb bag of chicken wings sitting in the freezer. Now that I think about it, it was really weird that I did that 1) because I hardly cook anything besides bok choy and noodles and 2) because I didn’t have that much food…but was a ton of fun. Annie and Mel joined us and we had a home-style Chinese dinner. It’s also really neat everytime I see my apartment-mates and my “outside friends”, mostly CCFers, come together. The boys insisted on doing the dishes, and Vicky made us all tang yuan. Then we watched The Lion King…
Since it snowed over a foot, we had “house church” at my place Sunday morning. It was mostly CCF with some roomies and a friend of the roomies. There was singing. Laughing. Discussion of what it truly means to love as God loved us. We closed with several verses of “Jesus Loves Me”.
The weekend hosting reached its last round with our Superbowl party. Lots of instant football food like barbecue wings and pizza rolls. It was a surprisingly enthusiastic bunch, with some unexpected but very welcome attendees as well. Again a random group of people coming together, this time to watch football.
I suppose I describe this weekend in order to say this: this weekend I really feel like I’ve gotten a glimpse of true fellowship, community. Being with brothers and sisters in Christ, randomly but joyously sharing what we have, helping each other, inviting each other to take a meaningful part in each others’ lives. We ate together, cooked together…when I hosted it was a joy to serve, but they made it a joy by letting me take part in their lives. Jules and the boys never let me do the dishes after I cooked, just taking over like it was their kitchen. Bad host-playing on my part but amazing friends-being on theirs. Cheesy as it sounds i was really touched by that. I feel like i can’t put it into words, but I love my apartment-mates, my CCFers and am so grateful to them for just…being there. We could just lead very detached lives, meeting only for appointed apartment dinners and CCF large groups. But they’re willing to let me do the mundane, daily things like eating and doing dishes with them. I remember telling Dad once that one thing I love about CCF is the sense of belonging they create. How I feel I belong but I can’t really explain why (they’re all weird, for one thing), how when we work together there’s so much stuff that isn’t said or explained or written out because it doesn’t need to be -somehow everyone just understands how we are. I love how we can just be randomly like, “Yo, let’s have house church at Dave’s tomorrow”, or “Let’s go to IHOP. Now” and we start an extremely disorganized and confused chain of phone calls to make whatever it is happen. Planning person’s nightmare; my community. And I love blwatching how anyone new that comes to large group is talked to and included like we’ve always known them. I was on the other end too, I remember being the new awkward first-year and immediately feeling comfortable, for whatever bizarre reason. I’ve seen my apartment-mates welcome my CCFers into our place too, not just enduring “Christine’s friends” but talking with them, getting to know them. Strange, isn’t it? And I’m so grateful for that strange thing called love and compassion they demonstrate.
So, thank you to all of you that have shown me what God’s community, church, love looks like.