Chocolate covered Easter eggs -I like the peanut butter kind the best, but coconut aren't far behind. I like eating them, but I really like making them.
Why? I guess it's because each year, our young people (now turned young adults) sell them as a fund raiser. In my mind, they do the hard part, though the eggs are so good they practically sell themselves. Then several of us "older" members of their church family get together to make the eggs. The amazing thing about these egg-making sessions is the sense of closeness that develops between those who are working.
Usually as we start working, the conversation is light and fun, sprinkled liberally teasing and laughter. But invariably, as the evening progresses, those working begin to feel comfortable with each other and start to share - opening up about the deeper things that are going on inside our hearts.
Each of us carries things - hurts, burdens or inner struggles which we are timid about revealing. Understandably so - church isn't always the safest place to reveal our needy inner selves.
As a pastor's wife, I've seen that happen time and time again - a person opens up in the congregation, only to be criticized for lack of faith or even condemned for their doubts and fears. Rather than supporting the wounded members, the church isolated them as though their fear was some sort of contagious disease.
It's hard to go through suffering, but to have to go it alone... Enough said!
But back to the chocolate covered eggs. The miracle happens every time, as the small group of us begins to open up, we share each others burdens; we support each other with listening ears and encouraging words. Rather than condemning the doubts and fears of the others. we become free to express our own and then lift each other up in prayer and with emotional support.
Though the eggs are sweet, the fellowship is sweeter. While some of the members look on it as work - "since the young people sell them, they should make them" - I see it as a miracle of "community" - drawing us together as Christ intended to be a support and burden bearer.
God, open their eyes to the wonder of community You have created!