Day 33: Dallas, Texas.
The warm sun and cool breeze wove themselves together like the perfect quilt around me. The night before, I had been here – in this backyard – with 60 other bravehearts who had come from across the country to gather at my friend Sarah’s Neighbor’s Table for good food, great wine, and divine conversation. That night, we stood together by the fire and watched – Sarah and Melissa and I – and I wept and whispered, “This, loves, this is Church – this is true Church.” One-by-one, the dreamers stood to offer thanksgiving for the power of community and for the impeccable beauty and clumsy courage it musters. And then we gathered for a photo, holding up the ones who were with us even though they were thousands of miles away.
These people. I can count on only one hand the ones I knew a year ago. These people. The ones who have listened to my dreams and fears. The ones who now hold my heart. I’ve traveled with them and traveled to see them, I’ve labored with them and served with them in third-world countries, laughed and cried with them. CasaRock has been joyfully opened to them.
There are some moments so perfect that you get to reminisce while you are still in them. You don’t have to wait for time to pass and prove in memory that a night was wonderful. ~Jon Acuff, author, founder of Dreamers & Builders, pastor-heart
Jon’s words echoed in my thoughts under the blue sky. The night had been beautiful.
And so was this moment. This one, with the remnants of the party all about me. This one, with leftover cupcakes and local dive pizza and a bottle of wine. This one, with only a few around the table – listening to hymns and talking about next steps in lives and deep breaths to overcome fears and how amazing God is to piece us all together under the same sky. “None of us are strangers if all of us are brave.”
That blue sky. A picture of both the now and the not yet. Of what we are and what we are becoming. Of both the gift of this life and the promise of its full redemption.
And we are now – you and I – under this same blue sky. We are invited to the table. I will meet you there. I will listen to your dreams and fears. And I will hold your heart.
Thank you, Jon Acuff, for believing that fear fears community and extending your hand to let me join in. Thank you, Jenny Acuff, for saying “yes” to pancakes and reminding me of how blessed we are when we neighbor well. Thank you, Sarah, for inviting this stranger to your home in January – and becoming family to me. Thank you to Melissa, Corie, Jim, Kris, Randy, and LeAnne for savoring blue skies with me.
And thank you to the ones who keep encouraging, keep praying, and keep me moving ever upward and ever onward. I would try to make a list but I would surely forget someone. So know the list is engraved on my soul…and it won’t be erased.