Shellie is a good friend who was also a volunteer with Special Gathering for many years. She taught a Bible class and helped to transport members. Shellie influenced three of her college-aged children to become involved with Special Gathering which is a ministry to people who are intellectually disabled. Each school break, during their college years, they came to help serve refreshments or substitute in a Bible classes.
Today we are having lunch. For me, it’s a big deal. I find that it’s easy to surround myself with the same people because their interests and value are the same as mine. These folks are usually my current volunteers at Special Gathering. I love them and appreciate them so much that I value simply hanging out.
Even though Shellie is a successful business woman, she took time to incorporate people from our community into her life. When Shellie and her husband moved to a new church, she kept her commitment to SpG because she loved our members and she found value in the work. She attended other church function, of course, but Sunday mornings remained reserved for discipling and evangelizing people who are developmentally disabled.
However, when her husband took an adult Bible study class, the pastors of the church felt it would be beneficial for Sherrie to attend the class with her husband. He agreed and asked her to come and partner with him in this endeavor. Reluctantly, she followed the wishes of her husband and the elders of their church.
Over the years, our contact has become less and less. Driving by her house one afternoon, I stopped and left my card. She called yesterday and we arranged to have lunch. I find that one of the great struggle I have is who do I fit into my schedule? No matter what your occupation or ministry, each of us face this question. I admit that as a widow my options are better now. I don’t have to cater to a husband’s needs or desires. Yet, I still need to put into place a workable system for including people who are “just friends.”
Because the mentally challenged community is a cloistered sub-culture, it’s easy to find my life revolving in and around the needs of this community. Yet, I know that businessmen and women become equally enveloped in the culture into which they fit.
Lunch today will be a two hour break from my “norm.” We’ll talk about our children and minister to each other in wholesome, simple ways. We’ll share recipes and giggle while looking at pictures of new babies. Having a friend who calls and says, “I’ve missed you. Can’t we have lunch” is a big deal in any person’s life. Don’t ever miss out on the opportunity to stop your day and break for a two-hour lunch. You will rediscover a part of the Body of Christ that can minister to you in holy and whole ways.
Who is someone that you need to reconnect with? How long has it been since you spoke to that friend that you once saw on a daily basis? How can you reconnect with them?