I battled with nervousness, excitement, and various inexpressible feelings as I was getting ready to head out to Sandusky, Ohio on Friday to meet with some people whom I have only interacted online. I knew they were real. I knew they knew Jesus. I knew they have a grip on the message I believe, the message of God's unconditional love and grace. I knew all that. That was the exciting fact. But still I was nervous. Nervous about my accent, color, possible cultural differences and what not.
However, I am here to tell the world that it wasn't anything like I thought. The common thread among all of us was very visible, natural and there wasn't any struggle. The heart-to-heart connection was so evident. Meeting with Leonard, Jamie, Joel and Matthew was like a dream coming true and I felt that we were all in one spirit right away. We didn't have to say it loud, we all knew it.
It is a God thing, a chemistry.
Sitting on the park bench and talking about God, life, grace and Jesus was more than enjoyable, calming and serene. I think I can do it for days, weeks, months and years...
Sitting around the fire, cracking jokes, walking around the park, Ryan's guitar treat...
I observed the peace, joy and love in everybody's eyes. It changed my life. I was probably the least expressive among us. These are people who love others whole heatedly, without any reservation. I am convinced only God's love can achieve this.
Thank you Jamie, Matthew, Joel and Leonard... I love you all. Thank you Ryan for telling about farm and farming, It was more than fascinating. Thank you Tracy for those tasty tacos. Thank you Savannah for organizing the Catch Phrase game. It was a total blast! I will remember some of those spontaneous jokes during the game for the rest of my life. Thank you for those ripstick skateboard lessons too. And thank you Noelle and Jared for the impression you made in my heart about how well behaved children can be.
What was it that brought these people together like this? Was it religion? Was it a particular caste, denomination, or class? Was it people trying to show their 'Christian principles'? Was it trying to earn brownie points with God? Was it the name-sake 'fellowship'? It wasn't any of that. It was simply the love of Jesus working in and through each one of us... His agape working through our transformed hearts...
The bloggers - Leonard, Bino, Matthew, Jamie, and Joel
All of us - Bino, Leonard, Matthew, Jamie, Jared, Ryan, Savannah, Noelle, Tracy and Joel.
More pictures are there on Better than we know and Grace Roots