The woman stood from her chair and strode up to the front of the congregation. Her long dark hair swung like a curtain across her back and she climbed both steps until she stood, facing us. The pastor moved aside after adjusting the microphone.
“My name is _______.” She took a deep breath. “I have been going to small group now for three years.”
_________ had family issues. I remember overhearing the conversations, and even (to my shame), being a part of those conversations. The Garden of Eden is a small community. Nothing escapes anyone’s notice. For ___________, living here must have been a nightmare. Everywhere she went, people asked about her family situation, even blamed her until her character outshone the problem.
“My small group supported me when I went through a very dark period of my life.” She looked at the ground. Her lower lip trembled. “I am so glad that God brought them into my life. Without them, I would have…I don’t know…stopped going to church.”
My eyes began to burn. I hate it when people cry, because I cry, too. S.M. dug into his pocket and handed me a clean tissue. When I looked to my right and to my left, people had varied reactions. Most were empathetic. Others had clearly resentful expressions. One woman I knew well. She whispered something to the person next to her, and, for better or for worse, I had a name for her–Pruneface.
I know it’s unkind. God and I have had many conversations about my tendencies to put nicknames to people in my head. You should have heard my justifications. I don’t call her this because of her wrinkles or even to disrespect her age, but because of her meanness of heart.
I have had issues with the woman, too. I try not to be too close to the woman as she doesn’t listen to anyone.
_____ stepped down from the stage and walked back to her seat. The pastor took her place on stage and began to continue that evenings Remembrance Service. We call it a Remembrance service because we look back and celebrate what our church has done the past quarter. While business stuff gets shared in the general running of the church, we enjoy many, many testimonies.
That’s why I want to start a small group with you.
Why should you join a small group like mine?
- Friendships. I don’t care what you believe. If you want to get to know the God of the Bible, the Jesus who died for you, join us as we study the Bible. Let us help each other through the quagmire of our world to get to the Light.
- Questions. I welcome questions. If I don’t know the answer, I will get back to you on it in a private email or respond publicly.
- Prayer. At any time, any place, you can privately email me or instant message me, and I will answer. I will pray for you.
Want to join?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
I will welcome you into the Google Plus community where we can hang out. It’s set to private. For the sake of our group, I am working on another way we can get together and study that is a safe place online. Til then, we use Google Plus community group that I have created.