We Were Together.

The other day I saw a quote by Walt Whitman. 

"We were together.
I forget the rest."

I don't know why, but I could not stop thinking about that quote, and I'm still not sure why it resonated with me so deeply. I kept telling Andrew about it. "I mean THAT QUOTE. I just love it. Don't you just think it's so lovely? Don't you think if my love language were quoted that would be it? Don't you think that is just so perfectly profound? I'm writing that on our chalkboard when we get home." Laugh.

Then of course, in true attorney fashion, I had to research to make sure it was accurately sourced. It turns out, this popular quote has been, shall we say, paraphrased. The quote is a line from the poem "Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City" and the line is actually,

"Day by day and night by night we were together-
all else has long been forgotten by me."

I'll let y'all decide which one you like better. Either way, I am a fan.

I have a close friend who considers herself to be "non-religious." I'm really thankful to have her as a friend, and she's always given me good insight during our frequent, long conversations. A few years ago, this friend and I were chatting over coffee, and I think I was telling her about getting together with some people from my church. She said, "Oh that sounds fun. What is it that y'all call that again? 'Fellowship'?" For some reason I just had to laugh. Not at her, but at the thought of having to have a special name for spending time with other believers. Why is it that we take ourselves so seriously?

Listen, there is nothing wrong at all with calling it "fellowship." I'm sure I have used the term many times, and I know fellowship can take on many different meanings.  For some reason though, when I was asked that question, I thought deeply about how my relationships "as a church person" looked to another person. It just seems that sometimes, we, Christian or not, always have to put a name, a purpose, and sometimes even an agenda, on spending time with one another.

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time home alone, and away from loved ones, so I've had the time to think about my relationships. I've had a lot of time to think about the friend I am and how I choose to spend time with others. Do I myself carry an agenda? When I'm with others, do I allow people the space to just BE? To be themselves, transparent and real without any fear of recourse? Do I show grace? Am I the same person no matter who I am with? Do I love deeply? Unconditionally? Do I give without expecting anything in return?I Is the act of being together enough?

Those are tough questions to think through, but I think they're so important. I think it's important, as a follower of Jesus, to approach relationships differently than the rest of the world. And honestly, I think a lot of times we miss the mark.

I can't help but think. What would happen, what would it look like, if we intentionally spent time with people, and were just together?


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