Tonight’s small group was special.
It was our first official meal around the dining room table together. We enjoyed donated homemade pasta from our landlord as well as Sher’s special pasta sauce made with donated can goods (and a few special ingredients!). We sat around the table and I hadn’t planned to really study anything tonight – it has been such a busy month, I figured it would just be fun to hang out together as a family.
We started talking about what we’d all heard in church this morning and I came to find out that most of the guys around the dining room table didn’t know the story of Jonah. So we cleared our plates and while we took a break before dessert, We cracked open our bibles.
I wanted to get to the END of Jonah – to talk about Jonah’s nasty attitude towards those God had great compassion and mercy on. But when I realized how little everyone knew about the whole Jonah story, we took it from chapter 1.
We didn’t get any farther than that.
I asked one question.
One chapter + One question = Fantastic Small Group
“Tell a time you know God wanted you to do something and you did the opposite.” I cannot believe the way the guys in this group want to tell their stories. How open and free they have become with the honest pain and suffering in their lives. In every single small group I’ve been a part of in the past it has been PAINFUL to get people to open up.
Not here. These guys, my precious friends, look forward to our weekly opportunity to share. To receive. To give encouragement and understanding. To laugh and to cry.
After our discussion, we ended our time in prayer. I cherish the prayers of my neighbors.
One by one, as the guys and Emma prayed, I sensed a great gratitude welling up inside of me for the table we were sitting around. This dining room table that seats 8 was gifted from a precious couple who moved to Georgia almost a year ago. This table has changed JUSTembrace.
When it was my turn I thanked God for the table’s history – the many meals it saw before it came into our home. I thanked God for the previous owners and their amazing generosity. I thanked God for the apartment and the many people who’s generosity is enabling us to live here and host these profound meetings that are truly helping all of us find our ways back to God.
It hit me afresh tonight how sacred this space is. How honored I am to live here. How profound the opportunity to hear the stories of my neighborhood. Without this place, JUSTembrace would just be some events and cool ideas. This house is at the very bedrock of the influence and favor we have in this neighborhood and all over the country now.
There are 3 more days to contribute towards our goal of $18,600 to cover our rent for the coming year. Will you help us get there? Each gift of $100 or more will be commemorated on a wall mural to be made this summer!
Click here to give!