I had a strange and sublime experience on Sunday night. At one point near the end of our evening service my friend (one of those whom I live with) put his hands on my shoulders and looked at me intently, smiling broadly.
“You ok?” He asked.
“Probably.” I lied.
“You looked left!” He shot back, smiling more at this subconscious signal of fabrication.
It was true, I was kinda ok, but sort of wasn’t really all ok. A bit of a mix.
Anyway, we got chatting that night in the kitchen after supper back at home, once everyone else had gone to bed. It was late, but I shared what I needed to and he unloaded a bit to me too. We laughed at embarrassing childhood memories, we enthused together about the future, about our passions and hopes, about where we find God leading us right now.
And the sublime experience? I didn’t expect it, but at one point, half way through talking I momentarily forgot there was anyone other than me in the room.
“Hang on a second,” I said to him, “I just forgot you were a different person!” In my mind, for a few seconds, I was so at ease and felt so known by him I may as well just have been chatting away to myself in the kitchen. It’s like we were one person.
Didn’t Jesus talk about oneness? Koinonia is one of the original Greek words that expresses this; it means ‘communion by intimate participation‘. I’ve found this ‘New Testament Church’ style sharing of lives to be most potently expressed in the residential Christian Community I’m part of. This is brotherhood.
However, it is very often a scary undertaking, because it means opening ourselves up to being let down. But it’s worth it. Every penny.