This past weekend I was in the company of a group of wonderful women. I've written about the importance of belonging before, so you won't be too surprised if I continue with the theme. There is something deep within each of us that compels us to find the place where we are safe. The 80's had a show that centered on that idea-Cheers.It sold itself on the idea that it was a place where everyone knew your name. Doesn't your heart just leap at the idea of something like that being possible? A place where you are not invisible?A place in which you are known?
Something amazing happens when women gather. We talk! At first it's surface information. Similar to sticking your toes in water to test the temperature. On finding that to our liking, we plunge in! The talk moves from information gathering to the common place we all inhabit-our doubts, our fears, our deepest heart pains. We turn to each other to find validation and acceptance. Our hearts and lives are lightened by the sharing and the laughing that gently flows over us, healing us in gentle waves as we realize we are not alone in our struggles.
We in no way solved any problems this weekend. We shared, laying our burdens aside. We invited each other to be a part of our own personal journey.
Times like this are an oasis in the wilderness. A place of rest for the weary traveler. In gathering we share and discover that we are not alone in this. Others have trod similar paths. They offer encouragement that the current troubles are not the final destination. They are temporary and will pass. New strength and courage are found to pick yourself up and go at it again. Shored up with the knowledge that others know and care about your journey. The journey isn't over at this point, but the loving Shepherd has provided a safe place to rest and relax. Sheep M 12/15/08