Dave and I have been reading probably the best fantasy fiction series ever created recently. At this stage only The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance have been published, but the author, Brandon Sanderson has flagged a ten part chronicles and we are loving it!
In a lot of ways, delving into this other world could not have come at a better time. I feel like we have been straddling a parallel universe and that so much of each world crosses over into the other. The way that Sanderson deals with otherworldly power, with codes of living, characters wrestling with who they are and who they need to be, with breaking out of a dominant culture to be part of something unseen and amazing- is absolutely inspiring and awesome. Both Dave and I have suddenly been pressed with a sense of urgency in life now, and a firm resolve not to let our time here go to waste.
This has culminated in a bit of a watershed moment at Tribe, of things unsaid being tearfully volunteered, of relationships mended, and hurts confronted. We have critically examined ourselves, our relationships and our structures and realised a lot of what we have hoped to achieve is not even on track at this stage. Reassuringly, it seems that everyone’s stories and threads are coming together now, to form a beautiful picture of what a community can look like when we be vulnerable and real together.
I’m so excited about life right now! We have had over a week now of poignant moments with friends over dinner and wine and what has become our Tribe game- “Jay’s Balls” (It sounds a lot more risque than it is!…Think Trouble with cards and teams). A Google Hangout where over half of Tribe people showed up from their living rooms to mull over what we want our community to look like. Apologies, laughter, hopes shared and dreams ignited. This is so what I picture a Jesus community looking like, and it is so amazing that we get to be a part of it now!
The fact that this has been overlaid by night after night of kid-induced sleeplessness probably reveals just how powerful this elixir of relationships has been. Dave and I have just decided to embrace the exhaustion and unpredictability of this phase and keep having people over, despite the conventional wisdom of ‘needing a break’. In doing so, we have uncovered an unlikely secret- doing life with people actually energises you more than a ‘night at home’ could ever do. This does come with a caveat- I’ve found that presenting a front of togetherness to your guests is absolutely exhausting and I would be better off having a night at home in the energy stakes. It is only when one is willing to let all the masks go that this path can truly be rewarding.
Tuesday night dinners with Nick and Laura have become something I really cherish, and we also had Coutties and Sharon over this week at the same time. At one point I looked around, Nick and Coutties had gone to get some ice-cream that I had forgotten, and Laura and Sharon were doing the dishes while I made some Golden Syrup Dumplings. The Planes soundtrack was on in all its epicness, and Eli and Hudson were ecstatically playing amidst the hum of laughter and good conversation. We were doing life together and it was absolutely incredible.
I’m almost 30 and I feel like I’m only just ‘getting’ now, what life is about. In a lot of ways, I feel privileged that we still have decades of this to make the most of. I just pray that we are able to make these moments count and keep seeking the eternal throughout it all. Please keep on breaking through to us, Jesus.