She came up from behind me. Small, quiet, humble and handed me a gift. It was unexpected and overwhelming. We were gathered as we are every other Monday night, gathered to break bread, committed to doing life.

I set down my fork and turned to meet her eyes, her hands outstretched in offering a small gift laid waiting in the palm. Joy right there before my eyes.

We’ve been meeting now, for months. Ever since the cold of last winter birthed new spring we’ve been meeting, eating and doing the dance of acquaintance. And we’ve been moving from fear into deep hospitality and living and loving, a beautiful gift.

It wasn’t always like this. I remember well one day in January my anger whipped up fierce like the cold of the wind, sitting there in a coffee shop with Pastor and his lovely wife. Sitting rigid and stoic until it finally broke and all of that anger came out of my eyes in hot, messy tears. And, could it, would it get any better? And wouldn’t it just be easier to run the other way?

And he waited, the patience of Job there in his eyes and then he started in about community and family and finding healing and life, life in all of those things. And I looked him in the eye and told him flat out that he’d entered headlong into crazy, because this community thing it’s not for me. Been there, done that and the T-shirt’s worn out. His gaze met mine and all of that rage held him there until he said “It’s time”

“Time to let go. Time to live life. Time to be part of community. And couldn’t you just try? Try this small group, a hub, a gathering of community?” I left the coffee shop that night my head pounding, aching ferocious and my heart running scared and wondering could I do this? Could I be in relationship with out fear of abandonment?

And these past months? Healing has taken place and friendships have been forged. We’ve cried and laughed and just been. Been sharing and laying bare our brokenness and hurt. Never once judging or gossiping… We’ve just lived, committed to one another. And His word, it commands us in this “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT). And I feel the hearts of my lovely community beating in His words each week as we gather.

I look up into her eyes and slowly look at the gift laying ready in her hand and she says, “for you, a reminder, that God has unlocked your heart.” And there it lays silver and small a necklace with a charm dangling hope. A heart and a key.

My eyes blur and I feel her hand on my shoulder.

I let a tear slip down and whisper God’s grace and feel Him there in the hearts of these people I love.


  1. Thats amazing! just amazing what Gid is doing in our midst. amazing!

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