Tag Archives: fellowship

“with Thee and with one another”

It has effectively been almost 5 months since I’ve last put pen (keyboard) to paper (screen).

It’s a weird thing to be able to put a timeline on. Mainly because, for 4 years I would write on a regular basis, not going more than a couple weeks without getting some thoughts down. It feels like a weird muscle I’ve forgotten how to flex. And if there’s anything I know about not using muscles for a long time, it’s that once you start again it can be awkward and hard. Which is why you don’t start doing it again. And then the longer you go, the more awkward and harder it gets. So you keep putting it off.

You aren’t as strong as you were before.
You aren’t able to go for as long as you once could.
You run out of breath faster.
And you’re going to be sore in a couple hours, if not immediately.

And it feels like all of those things will apply here. Especially shortness of breath.

But the thing that has kicked me back into workout mode (okay, I’m done with that analogy) is something my grandmother prayed at my sister’s birthday dinner.

As we do at family gatherings, the food was out, people were standing ready to get in line (yes, we have a line because it’s not abnormal for more than 12 people to be at these things and that amount of food doesn’t fit in the middle of a table…), and my dad asked his mom to pray for our meal and our time together.

As she prays, she says this phrase, “And Lord, we thank you for the fellowship we have with Thee and with one another…”

I’ve heard my grandma pray many times in my life, but that phrase really got me this time around. It struck me how she was so comfortable likening the relationship she has with the Lord to the one she has with the people around her. She is in fellowship with all parties.

Fellowship, to me, is companionship, mutual support, togetherness…..friendship.

And when I think about my friends, I think about joy, care, love, camaraderie, encouragement, rebuke, laughter, time together, Netflix binges, and movie quotes.
(Okay, so some of my thoughts aren’t as spiritual as others, but also have you ever seen Pride & Prejudice because that was a SPIRITUAL experience…)

But when I think about my relationship with the Lord – especially lately – I see it more authoritarian. I see Him as sovereign, holy, and just. All of those are good things, but those aren’t the only things He is. He is also caring, loving, encouraging, and a friend.

Sometimes our pendulum can swing too far toward that last one and we start wearing “Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirts, effectively forgetting that He is also the just, righteous God over all created things. But I think my pendulum has swung a smidge too far the other way. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have fellowship with the Lord. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to see Him as a friend to my soul that cares about the mundane details of my every day.

I’m so glad that the friends I have in this life are Kingdom people that make me better on a daily basis. But I need to remember that the King is also my friend whose Spirit was literally sent to this earth to make me better moment by moment.

I don’t know if this is a real thing, but I want to start practicing the discipline of friendship with the Lord. And, in the words of my grandmother, grow in fellowship with Thee and with one another.

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refrigerator rights

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I first heard the term”refrigerator rights” when I sheepishly asked for some water, or coffee, or other beverage at the home of my Gospel Community leaders.

*disclaimer: if you do not know what the phrase ‘Gospel Community’ is, I’m sorry for the Christianese and will try to cut it out from here on. Also, Gospel Community is simply a small group. And if you’re unfamiliar with ‘small group’ it’s basically Sunday school…just not on a Sunday…and also kinda different. I digress.

Okay.

Refrigerator rights.

So, when you have refrigerator rights somewhere, it basically means that you get FULL RANGE of their ‘fridge. Like, you can open it and eat all the things if you want. Now, a normal person wouldn’t eat all the things, but you definitely eat some of the things. Because you’re typically in that place for a long enough time that you’ll need a snack. And at some point you’re cool enough with each other that the people whose ‘fridge you’re eating from are basically like, “dude, get your own cheese stick. You know where the coffee mugs are. And George Clooney isn’t going to pop out of nowhere when you hit that Nespresso machine.”

When I think about dwelling somewhere, I immediately think of all the places where I have refrigerator rights. I think of the people that fill those homes.

I am absolutely blown away by the way I am loved by those around me.

I love that I can invite myself over for lunch after church on a random Sunday and I end up staying for 4 hours – and be so caught up in conversation that I don’t look at my phone once. I love that at another friend’s house, when she gets me water, she automatically puts it in a plastic cup because she knows I love that cup – also, no ice please. I love that another knows just the right amount of wine to pour in the glass, and that she knows what kind of wine I’ll like because I don’t even know myself half of the time.

I love that I am known by so many. And yes, I am saying that selfishly.

I love that my people (really, they’re more like a tribe) know me better than I know myself. That they can look at me and know something is wrong. Or they can look at me and know there is something going on that is worth celebrating.

And I also love that they let me know them. That they share their struggles, their life-highs, their tears, and their deep belly-laughs with me.

I have never been known and known others the way that I do now. And I’m realizing more and more, day by day, that life is not meant to be lived alone.

God Himself even says that. It is not good for man to be alone. So He made a helper for him.

It is not good for woman to be alone either. And I think God made helpers for us, too. Those helpers come in many different forms – moms, sisters, friends, husbands, grandmas, etc.

Right now, my helpers are those that give me refrigerator rights. They are my tribe – the ones that will not let me live life alone.

This week is basically just a brag table moment of how awesome my people are, but I don’t really care. Dwelling with my people is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

*also, yes, the kitchen pictured here is the kitchen my original refrigerator rights were given out 🙂

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