Come. Sit with me as the evening fades and let candles illumine our faces. Let us talk about the things that can only be said in flickering light. Let us talk about the deepest things of the soul and learn to see life and controversies from other perspectives. Shadows have a way of bringing safety and vulnerability. I remember campfires while backpacking. After hiking 15-20 miles with a 70 pound pack and setting up camp, lazing by the campfire contented even the most urban in our group. Down came the defenses we normally shored up. Our bodies, weary from the sun and exertion, no longer held the ability to hold each other at arms length and we freed ourselves to belly-laugh at silly skits, admit confidences that we hadn’t admitted to ourselves and sing with gusto all the cliche songs of campfire generations past.
Come. Sit with me as the evening fades and let candles illumine our minds. Let us discuss the difficult passages of life and love that society normally only speaks in hushed tones. Let us boldly offer varying interpretations on scripture, God and how we fit into the grand plan. I remember youth and how the bonds forged in high school and college created a microcosm of how we thought the world existed. I remember feeling so intelligent and confident that I could reason away any silly emotional argument that didn’t meet with my interpretation of God. Conflicts lasted momentarily, because I needed to show grace to those who lacked an ability to form arguments to obvious flaws in reasoning. So sure of my beliefs, others came to me and asked my counsel. I freely gave it and believed that the closeness of mind we shared would carry us through any and all adversities and adversaries.
Come. Sit with me as the evening fades and let candles illumine our souls. Let us share our hearts and all that we’ve learned from living. Let us process the traumas and joys of our lives in light of experience and knowledge, perhaps gaining true wisdom. I remember Job’s friends. No one wants to be them because they said silly things. But before they ever said a word, they sat in ashes with Job in silence. They planned on giving him comfort and sympathy. “And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:12-13, ESV). I want friends like these. I want friends that have learned to empathize and relate with both their heads and their hearts. I want a community of people who don’t have all the answers and are willing to hear a different side.
Come. Sit with me as the evening fades and let candles illumine us. Let us sit in silence and commune. Let us speak wisdom of the ages in humility. Let us sing of God and his profound healing, love and LIFE! Let us experience the extreme of what Edgar Allan Poe called “joy to the brink of pain.”
Come. Let us worship together.