House Church

darkness into light
Photo by Jasleen Kaur.

Please be my people.

Almost every time, I leave their house feeling lighter than when I got there, even in my work clothes and work grime and work weariness. What was dormant in me is now stirring; what was dull is now reflecting bits of light as I walk back to my car on another Wednesday night. It’s been two and a half months.

One week into my new city life, I was pressing send on an email to an unknown person. I was feeling around in the dark for an open table, for other hands that would reach back, for faces that weren’t hiding behind plastic or paint or cliches. It was a hopeful search for the truest kind of community.

I think I’ve found it, but I’m not sure it’s found me … or that I’ve let myself be found by it.

There is laughter, connection, and contentment. And then there is tension. I don’t mean a tension of opposing worldviews, of my grayness meeting a black-and-white environment and pursing its lips, but a tension in my body, in my very bones.

I feel it when we’re sitting in quiet meditation and all I can think is don’t breathe too loudly. I feel it when I’m saying something about prayer or solitude and my voice doesn’t sound like my voice and there’s an undercurrent of anxiety and maybe a flash of red on my face. I feel it when I don’t know where to put my hands or where to stand, when I can’t seem to join the conversation, when I don’t know how to answer a question, when I’m coming in in the middle and I don’t understand.

I’m no stranger to this sort of tension. When I was a teenager, I was like a light bulb. At home, my wattage was too high and I would start fires with my words and actions, but I was on. In the time it took to open the car door, say goodbye to my dad, and turn toward another day of high school, the light had turned itself off.

I’ve seen growth in the last 10 years, a smudging of that dark dividing line, a dance toward natural light.

But insecurities still pop up even in the safest of places, darkness still attaches itself to the light, and I’m still afraid of rejection and indifference and hands that won’t reach back.

Please be my people is the unspoken desire, and my body tries to do and be and say everything it thinks it’s supposed to do and be and say to make this a reality.

But maybe they already are.

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4 Comments

  1. I SO appreciate your heart-felt writing, Lizzie!  You are honest and vulnerable at the same time.  It is a good thing.  I am thankful that you’re in a small group/home church.  I am praying that you will safe enough to completely come out of yourself and be yourself, but only as you feel safe and ready.  In the meantime, give yourself some grace, pray for direction and courage as well as wisdom, and walk this out in the right timing.  You are an amazing woman, young lady!!!  I’m not sure if you know that or not…but hey, not knowing it might keep you humble, right:-)  Seriously, though, God made an amazing woman when he made you, and I am grateful to have walked beside you for a short while as you were exploring who you are in Christ.  Our Connection Group misses you, but are happy for you as you’re on this new journey in Colorado.  May the Lord of grace and peace walk with you every step of the way.  I love you!!!  Patty Montenegro

  2. It sounds like you’re making great, genuine connections! I love my cell group at church, but a few years ago when I first went and met people and we were mostly strangers sitting around a table, it felt awkward. I only like to share so much with people I know, not to mention strangers. And now, a few years later, I can barely remember exactly how it felt, because we have all grown together so much, and as some people have left and others have joined, it’s always felt like God was working through it all. I’ll be praying that God will continue to do his amazing God-thing in your life! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susan! So glad to hear that you’ve had such a positive experience with your group. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, and sometimes it takes time, but if and when it does happen is a beautiful thing.

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