We will all pack diaper bags, and quickly feed children, and throw our Bibles in cars - and head down the highways and side roads to gather together again.
We may or may not be a few minutes late. Our children will probably pitch small fits as we drop them off at the sitters. And while the adults meet for Bible study and fellowship just down the road - all the Mama's will say a prayer and check their phones in hopes that all is well at the childcare house.
Thankfully, the company of all the others....the fellow parents, the singles, the divorced, the newly weds - will calm us.
We will put on name tags for the new ones as soon as we enter the door. Some type of fine Texas food will meet our noses and we will all fill paper plates with southern goodness.
As people go to and fro from the kitchen - we will sit and engage and ask and listen and laugh and feel free. Free to be self - free to drop the facade - free to chase deep faith....together.
And then.....when all the tea and lemonade have made their way into Dixie's - and all the tacos or pizza or barbecue or casseroles are consumed.....we will pull chairs and stools and benches out of every nook and cranny in the house and we will glean.
From the teacher.
From the passage.
From the scripture.
From one another.
From the Spirit's speaking through it all.
And we'll nod, and rebuttal, and scribble down notes - as we sit in circles and take in all the company and all the wisdom shared.
But before the ladies find their purses and the men find their coats - we will do the most important work....
Splitting into small gendered groups - this is where the vulnerable light shines bright - and this is where the things in our hearts get worked out.
It's safe. It's real. And it's a balm.
Not in a corny kumbaya kind of way - but in a brave, comforting, needs-meeting kind of way.
We share the ugly, the beautiful, the true. And then we cover that stuff in petitions.
At this point - the sitters house is busting at the seems and parents scramble out to vehicles to fetch children.
Then everyone...the marrieds, the singles, the searching....will all head home.
And we do so a little bit lighter, fuller, whole.....
Because even us introverts.....we need others. And even though some of us have been burned in the community setting before.....and even though it can make us tired and turn us on to the weary of the world.....The Christian life was meant to be lived in a communal fashion. Living life shoulder to shoulder is best. Arm in arm is even better.
The risk of putting yourself out there - is worth it.
Pope Francis tweeted just last week that...."People can't save themselves. The community is essential."
The baby has woken up from his nap early. And here in the next hour I will put shoes on toddler feet, and fix the girls hair, and pack that diaper bag I mentioned, and usher them all out to the grey bullet of a Honda.....
and head towards togetherness.
And the God of the universe...
He will meet us there.