You all are amazing, you know that? The way you are showing up, offering up your stories, speaking courage and hope and prayer over one another, it’s just really something. And it’s also exactly why we’re here.
Today we’re gathering at The Grove to share on the prompt “Connect,” to talk about this idea that is already happening among us. Maybe you’ve been a quiet reader around here, silently observing what’s happening here. We’re glad for you. We also wonder if perhaps today’s your day to say, “I’d like to connect and be known in this place.”
There’s a spot just for you. Throw your hesitations aside. We’re here to be real. And it’s the real you we’re waiting to know. Come connect with us?
To get us going, here’s my story on “Connect”…
Look for green people, they told me.
We were debriefing from a five-year stint on the field. My heart, they said, had become green. It was originally blue, the color of my home culture, but it had been stirred together with yellow, the color of my host culture. I was now forever a shade of green.
All of us in that room were green, together unpacking our stories.
They told us we should find other green people, that we needed to find them. If we were going to ride the roller coaster of transition, this back and forth across the globe life, we had to connect heart to heart with others who have lived or are living the same kind of story.
Because there’s nothing quite like this life, and no one that can quite understand, unless they’ve lived it too.
So later, I’m part way into a two-year stint of Stateside life, in a new place, and I’m feeling a bit of a lonely ache, surrounded by people I’m growing to love, but feeling always a bit on the outside, like they’re the home team and my colors don’t match.
Then one day I stumble upon some people, and I know they are green like me. So invitations are extended, dinner is made. We gather round the table, and the stories start flowing. We laugh long and hard. We nod, and we sigh. I scoop dessert onto plates, but I know nothing’s as sweet or rich as a heart’s shared journey.
I wipe crumbs late in the night after all have gone. It’s true, I thought. I need green people. There’s a connection that happens with them.
There’s a knowing that comes only through living it, and that knowing connects us, binds us in a way nothing else can.
And that’s when it hits me.
This. This is why he came. This is why the king of heaven lay in a manger. Because how could he connect unless he’d lived it too? Unless, he’d felt a hungry belly, wiped a dirty foot, held a weeping woman?
He died that he might have a bond with us, a bond that could only come from a heart’s shared journey. He had to live our story, to feel the sweaty reality in his very own flesh.
And this leaving his home of heaven and forging a life in the land of man, it made him green, just like us. Heaven to earth, greatest cultural adjustment ever made.
He is a soul of two worlds, his heart forever in both. He knows.
And thus he waits with us, with the ache of longing for when those worlds become one. Heaven on earth. No more goodbyes, no more distance between, always belonging, always home.
Come connect with us, all of you in all your lovely shades of green.
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