I'm having an absolute blast at this point in my life because I love new things and I love people. The result of those things together is that I love new people!
Now grant it, I am missing my old friends -- there is no doubt about that... but I still text and facebook and call -- and they are still a part of who I am.
But having a whole church full of strangers who will become friends is always a fun experience for me.
One of the things that we have done in the past two churches and are doing here is to have gatherings in our home to get acquainted with about a dozen folks at a time.
Last night 12 people were here for 2 hours. We had Bart's delicious banana bread. We had cheese and crackers. But best of all... we had stories. One after another. And last night's group was comprised mostly of octogenarians or septuagenarians, so their stories were long and delightful.
The stories were delightful not because everyone's life was perfect and tidy. There were some stories shared that were not easy. But they were delightful because through hard times -- death and disease, divorce and disappointment, and all kinds of other things that didn't start with a d -- God was with them.
And most of the time we experience God's presence because of His people. God refers to us as Christ's body -- and tells us that we are his hands and his feet. We are the very arms of God that reach out to hug others when they are in pain (sorry, Minnesotans for suggesting that scary thought). We are the tangible evidence of God's love here on earth.
So even though it will take a long time to hear all the stories, I'm excited to hear them. I'm excited to hear about the journeys.
And one more thing -- it's always very cool to hear the stories of couples who have been together for a very long time. Marriage shapes people -- iron sharpens iron -- and the result is beautiful.
I'm loving the influx of people into my life right now and am excited about the ways that they will be intertwining their lives with mine to further create the tapestry that's my life.