‘Fellowship’ is a word that is mostly used in Churches these days. We still have fellowship meals, fellowship halls, and fellowship events. The purpose of these events is to create connection. I expect connection here and even in community events that draw people together. What I am always surprised at is when this connection and fellowship happen in strange and unplanned places.
This week I went with my Dad to his chemo infusion. It takes place in a large room with big comfortable looking chairs lined around the walls. (I say comfortable looking because they won’t let you sit in them unless you are taking chemo no matter how many are empty!) As I entered and greeted my parents, I was promptly introduced to the people sitting on each side of him and to the entire nursing staff. They were talking about church, about snacks, about one lady’s husband who couldn’t hear as he sat right beside me, and about many other things. I realized that in every sense of the word these people were connecting and having fellowship.
Interesting to me was the fact that there was very little talk about cancer. There were a few remarks about how long one of them had been there and how long the other still had to go, but that was about the extent of it. This fellowship seemed to have its own rules and one of them is not talking about the big “C”. For the most part the conversations were cheerful and edifying. Out of this shared experience came a created connection that had a marvelous effect on each one in the room.
This made me stop and think. How many times do we get the opportunity to create true fellowship with people over shared experiences? People do it in chat rooms and support groups all the time. I think that part of our Christian witness is to pay attention to these shared moments. Some of them may go on for some time while others may be only a few moments. Either way, we get to share a moment of Christ’s love in each of them.
I love that the Church still uses the word ‘fellowship’. My hope is that we will let it move outside of our church walls and let it be experienced to its fullest potential. When I picture Jesus walking on Earth a couple of eons ago, I picture Him doing this exact thing. Looking for every opportunity to create unexpected connections. The bottom line is you never know the difference you may make in someone’s life by simply engaging and sharing a moment.