Friday, December 9, 2016
Sitting at the table
I have 397 Facebook friends. I had more than that before I became vocal about Donald Trump.....guess they weren't that good of friends..... :) Seriously though, of those 397 people who haven't deleted me yet, how many of them are true friends that really know me? How many of them have I sat with, shared with, and let them see into my heart?
In June of 2014 and 2015, I was privileged to be able to go to the Hope for Wholeness Conference in North Carolina. The conference is for those dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions. I found it very helpful and encouraging for many reasons, but Anthony's post brought to mind one specific thing that meant a lot to me.
Too many Christians will never experience sitting across from someone at a table and sharing their innermost thoughts and struggles without fear of judgment or being ostracized. Many times during those two conferences, I sat with other men experiencing the same thing I deal with - unwanted attractions to the same sex. There were no barriers, no need to hide, and the conversations were free and unguarded. There is a depth of fellowship that is only reached and attained when Christian brothers and sisters can share without fear.
I miss that. No, not necessarily the sharing of a mutual struggle - though I do miss that - but I miss that open and unguarded sharing and fellowship with other Christians. I have never experienced it on that level before, and have not experienced anything close to it since then.
How often do we Christians sit with others of like-minded faith and "talk about life"? How often do we skip past the shallow surface chatter and get to the heart?'
I like to joke and laugh. I like to make outrageous political statements. I am not sure what all people see when they look at me, but not many people see the real me. I do have a depth to me that isn't always visible, and a vulnerability that may or may not be a "perk" of the same-sex attractions I deal with.
And maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe "normal" guys are afraid to be vulnerable, to share from the heart, and let people see them for what they are. The times we sit with other Christians and have that kind of fellowship and sharing should not be rare, but sadly it is.
Maybe I am not the average Christian guy, but I long to sit at a table with other Christian guys and experience that kind of fellowship more often.
The good news is we can have that with God any time.
"The best moments of life happen when you are sitting across from someone at a coffee shop talking about life."