I fully believe that we were created to “Do Life” with other people. Meaning that we as fallen, broken, beings need one another while we are on this journey of Life. I think this is even more true or more important for Christians. I’m not saying we should all move into a camp together and not let anyone else in. I’m just saying that we need each other in our daily walk – to uplift, to encourage, to help each other, to be an example of God’s love for a lost world.
I could reference the church in Acts. The Bible talks about God’s people eating together in their homes and having all things in common and anywhere they saw a need they sold what they had to meet the needs of others. In our world today, this has deteriorated a bit. Yes, we eat together in our homes, sometimes. Yes, we meet the needs of others, but not when it keeps us from meeting our own “needs”. Mostly, we go to church on Sunday and maybe out to lunch and then the rest of the week, we live our lives disconnected from one another.
So how do you juggle going to work, family time, grocery shopping, bathing the kids, cleaning the toilet, and whatever else the day requires with spending time with other people outside the walls of your own home? I don’t know. I know that there is no way I could invite people into my home on a daily basis without hiring either a nanny or house cleaner and a dog trainer…or without God’s mercy on my sanity. But, maybe that’s not what I’m supposed to do. Maybe Doing Life isn’t necessarily about physically being together. It is sometimes, of course. But maybe if I can be open and transparent and loving and non-judgemental to those I come into contact with throughout the natural course of my day then they can be open, transparent, loving and non-judgemental to me and BOOM we have a relationship that allows us to Do Life together. We can then pray for each other or pray together for others. We can work together. We can eat together – when the opportunity arrises. We can interact with each other on a daily basis naturally, without having to manufacture opportunities. We can demonstrate God’s love to a lost world. But it all starts with being open, transparent, loving and non-judgemental.
Let me be transparent right now and say that is really hard for me to do. I form quick and strong opinions about people I come into contact with and whether its true or not I don’t change those opinions easily. I put up barriers to keep people from getting too close, afraid that they might see my flaws and weaknesses. And when I come into contact with a stranger my first thought is always that they may be an ax murderer and I just want to get away safely…or that they have Swine Flu and might infect me. (not an exaggeration, sadly)
There are several times in my life that stand out strongly as times that I was blessed to truly Do Life together with other people. In these seasons it wasn’t physically being in the same place that made us share so much of who we were with each other. We truly loved and cared for one another – with all our flaws and weaknesses and failures. And, because of that were were open and transparent. It was safe to “be yourself” because we knew we would be loved and accepted for it. We shared openly about who we were and where we had been. We prayed together and for each other. We learned from each other. We helped each other, we stood up for each other. We were truly a family.
As a stay at home mom, it is very difficult to have interaction with grown ups on a daily basis. I Do Life with my daughter. We read and watch Elmo and talk about the puppies and the sentence I say most every single day is, “Don’t eat that.” I’m just trying to figure out how to Do Life in this season of Mommyhood. Who do I Do Life with? Who do I impact on a daily basis? Who impacts me? Not sure yet. But, until I figure it out, I can be open, transparent, loving and non-judgemental toward people I come into contact with. And, who knows, maybe they’ll do the same toward me. Then…BOOM!