She rides her bike to school everyday with her children. A gentle woman that I would like to get to know. Sometimes, there’s that spark in friendship that you just can’t explain. We pass each other on busy mornings, each giving our kids good bye kisses without connecting, but yesterday was different. I speak up and step out of my comfort zone. We chit chat and come to an agreement that our kids’ would like to play. She confesses, she’s alone, in a new city, without friends. I’ve found a mirror; another friendless soul on this side of the world. And this is the beginning of community.It’s uncomfortable at first, always unsure of the other’s reaction. Wondering if we’ll see eye to eye and feel heart to heart. I’ve tried the alternative and it’s miserable. Alone, isolated, hiding from community. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of the pain, again. So we take a step and trust that if God says it’s good to be in community, it’s good to be in community.
I’ve been off of the bike for so long. Sitting, rusted in need of oil. It’s a skill they say you never loose. “You just get back on and start peddling.” Your balance will come to you, the skills of peddling and steering and braking; of trusting and persevering and sharing. But in the beginning it takes a little push, a little nudge from the God above to get back on and start riding again.
Those nudges have been coming for awhile now, slowly and steadily. And each time I feel my heart opening to the prospect of it.
I get an email from the women’s ministry director outlining the Bible studies starting for the Fall. There’s a yoga class, and it’s free. Two birds with one stone. I step out again. Each woman in the class unsure of herself. Hoping not to be laughed at or stand out as odd. It’s community in the making, but the beginning stages can feel uncomfortable. God promises to go with me so I get back on the bike.
And then there’s that community group, aptly named for sharing and trusting. And they ask us to share our story. I’d rather go through speech class 101, I think to myself. But I force myself to go because He’s been speaking to me, and it’s always in my best interest to listen and obey. He’s promised to restore this year and I promise to partner with Him.