Fellowship with other human beings is one of the sweetest gifts life has to offer.
For years, my mental association with the word was limited to church culture, the five minutes before or after formal services in which people were allowed to freely mingle and chat. Although we were repeatedly assured that fellowship was a “valuable, integral, intentional part” of our religious experience, it never seemed to mean as much as the announcements or sermon, and certainly never approached the status accorded to Adult Sunday School.
People milling about, chatting without prodding or supervision by “leadership,” seemed to be more of an annoyance than a blessing.
But fellowship, true fellowship, is rich, rich indeed. And we find it best in places outside of prescribed meetings and supervised convocations.
Around the dining room table, at a restaurant, in line at the grocery store, on the street — wherever we meet and connect with other humans, this is when we have an opportunity to fellowship. And what is this fellowship? It’s essentially talking and listening — not monopolizing the conversation for the former, and truly being engaged in the latter.
Through our times together, communing and communicating, we learn about each other, and the more we know about each other, the less likely we are to shallowly judge. As an added bonus, we find ourselves more poised to be there for one another, to provide practical assistance when and how we can.
The artwork, Girls Day Out, shows a rich, meaningful moment of fellowship and companionability. A group of friends (sisters? cousins? nieces and aunts?) rests after a day of shopping. Who wouldn’t have fun on a day like this, in Paris, no less?
But the true fun, the true goodness comes because they are spending that time together. Each has something to say and share; each takes time to listen and care. At the end of the day they have reaped far more than a collection of colorful shopping bags.
They have fellowshipped.
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