Knitted and knotted
Just a smidge over three weeks ago I returned home from Brazil.
The trip was beyond amazing, as I expected it to be. I reunited with probably close to two dozen folks I’d met last year (if you include leadership), and I met at least seventy new people on the team.
For nearly two weeks we did life together, 24/7.
Doing life together in Brazil on a Global Awakening trip is community life on steroids. We all came for a unified cause, although the reasons we did it were as varied as the zip codes and the colors of our passports.
For nearly two weeks we shared hotel rooms, meals, and bus seats. We visited churches together, we worshiped together, we prayed together, we interceded with and for one another, we ministered with one another.
We learned one another’s habits. We began to understand who liked a little extra space, who preferred to listen even when they didn’t say much, who could entertain a phone pole with jokes and schtick, who greeted life with a constant smile, and who was going to be last to get on the bus every single time.
We invested in one another. And now that we’re home, we’re still invested.
During a personal message exchange today, my friend Paul said this:
“It will be awesome to see how things continue to be revealed and developed through this group. I am thirsty for what happens next within this team. Isn’t it interesting that even though the trip has been over for almost a month that I still have this sense of “team” and that our trip has only begun?”
The truth is, most of us would say we feel this way. I am confident the team I was with in 2014 would agree.
I have to wonder if this sense of team and traveling together isn’t so much about spending two weeks in Brazil together but how we spent that two weeks. We were immersed in concentrated multi-faceted community and kingdom business with one another.
This is no small thing.
We operated in risk and vulnerability with one another. We shared a deep hunger to see God move in one another and through one another. We were there for each other’s sacred moments. We witnessed and celebrated some team members have their first experience praying for someone who was healed on the spot. We cheered each other on. We rejoiced over victories together, and ached over defeats. We watched one another confront fears and anxieties, stepping into new levels of kingdom realities. We were there as Holy Spirit touched some of us with laughter…and some with peace…and moved some to deep tears…and blasted some with overwhelming power. And we joined in the laughter, blessed the peace, handed out tissues, and helped wobbly legs find their way to chairs and beds.
We lived as open treasure boxes with one another, and held little back. It was two weeks of wildly joyful, deeply poignant, and outrageously fun holy ground.
This is life in the kingdom at its best.
The most challenging part about these trips is coming home and realizing the folks around us have no grid for what we’ve just experienced. We can tell the stories—and boy, are there ever stories to tell—but it is exceedingly difficult to express what really happened to us there. Something fundamental in us changed and the only people who really understand are those who experienced it alongside us: the team. And so pieces of our hearts remain tied to a scattered group, and we have a vision awakened for a present community around us that operates in the same kind of authenticity, vulnerability, bravery, and determination.
In our day-to-day lives we long for this kind of team…this kind of community…this kind of church.
Because isn’t this what the church is really supposed to be?