Roses, Thorns & Snoozes

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is to snooze on the shoulder of a friend“, I’d like to add.

Yesterday was tiring but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Folks from the particular collection of Church house groups that I belong to (about 100 of us) made the best of the Christmas Bank Holiday by trekking off to the precipitous hills of Dovedale.

Two routes were offered – a gentle riverside stroll for families with little ones and for those less able but possibly wiser, and an up-and-over route for us more adventurous souls.

Well boys will be boys, and our boys are particularly boyish ones. Take us for a day out anywhere and we’ll instigate some dangerous sport. This year it was cheese-rolling (with a ball) and grass skiing, throwing ourselves wildly down the slope. Miraculously (and unusually) no one was injured.

I was musing on the way back down the motorway in the minibus, head lolling (I wasn’t driving!) how incredible it is to be part of such a group. I felt completely at ease in such a crowd and felt that I could have walked and talked with many there & connected in conversation. My head lolled on my friend’s shoulder. Aaah.

However, looking back on those thoughts now, the warm fuzzy moments aren’t what really make it for me. That’s one side of Jesus brotherhood, but of course, familiarity also breeds contempt. The closer someone is the easier it is for them to hurt you, and for you to hurt them. Living in community makes love real. Love doesn’t get more real than in saying sorry and in still being gracious when others don’t. Love is made real in remembering your own faults when faced with someone else’s, and in treading the second mile with someone in need.

The moments that really make Community for me (and I mean ‘community’ in a broad sense, not just the intentional Christian Community that I’m a part of) are the moments when hearts meet. Tears of reconciliation and laughter together at old grievances, now made to look ridiculously silly. Being told a few home truths. Finally getting out a confession that’s been weighing heavily on your shoulders, and the relief afterwards of still being friends.

Living in Community is a bed of roses, with the thorns. The pain of love makes it real.

And now as I’m writing this sitting up late waiting for some video work to complete I can add one more proverb-

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when a brother stays up late just to keep you company.

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