04 October, 2017

Fellowship that just makes you thirstier

Last year this week I wrote a post called Empty Chairs about the annual missionary women prayer and fellowship event that I went to yesterday. I've just reread it and it still holds true, though I wasn't as sad yesterday as I was last year. There will always be friends missing from my life, more than if I'd never gone overseas. But I think I'm in a better spot than I was this time last year about that fact, at least just now I am.

It was good yesterday to catch up with a couple of friends who I haven't seen in longer than a year or two. One of whom has now moved to Tokyo and I've got the prospect of seeing her more often, though she still lives 1 ½ hrs away!

It was good too, to help seven other ladies get to this meeting. We got another three hours of "hanging out" just by riding together in my van. I love that.

I'm really glad that I spent time last week just me, my Bible, and the Lord. That made yesterday easier. Sometimes I find these group-directed events don't necessarily meet me where I'm at. I still remember just a week or so after the big floods in south east Queensland I went to a prayer meeting here where one phrase that came up a few times was "flooding". It was supposed to be in a positive way (eg. pour out your Spirit upon me, Lord), but it was a negative trigger word for me at the time. (As an aside, it is interesting that the word "flood" is almost entirely negative in the Bible, the use of it as a positive word in worship songs is a modern thing.)

These "one-day" events often feel too short for me. You spend a lot of time getting there and getting home and the time spent actually being present is not so long. Yesterday we were there a good five hours (with only three hours of travel for our group), which is good, but it still felt short.

One thing, I think, that makes it feel short is that you're having a lot of short, sometimes random interactions with a variety of people who you've known for a varying length of time. I find it's a bit unsatisfying to have short conversations with some. Yet there were other conversations that couldn't end fast enough (Trump...really?).

After lunch was a couple of hours of free time. Many of us went for a walk in the local area. I joined the group that went to this delightful forest just down the road.

The weather was warm (about 27 degrees Celsius), unseasonably warm, actually. So it was delightful to be outdoors. Even more exciting to be only 28km from home and be on the edge of the mountains and the forests that live on them. This is the area where our eldest son is hiking and camping these four days.

I am, however, really glad that we're going camping with friends this weekend. I'll get a decent dose of the two things that yesterday just made me thirsty for: gorgeous nature and deep fellowship. 

Oh hang on, did I tell you that we're going camping? I don't think I've mentioned it here. But that's another post on its own . . . some time before we go.

No comments: