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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fϋr Elise


Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor
:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)



I have never met an online friend offline. When girlfriends tried internet dating, I was the one collecting physical descriptions, cell numbers, car makes and models AND licenses plates. We had a protocol. There was an agreed upon call time, and the secret question, “what are you ordering for dinner?”  Chicken meant the date was okay; fish meant my beloved and I were on our way with law enforcement. Oh, and they always called on the way home with a status report. ALWAYS.
God is remarkable. Before the God Sized Dream Team,
 before the beginning of time, God crafted this meeting.
He shaped this fellowship and  the projects that will spring
forth from this one moment.
In Starbucks.
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When I mentioned to my beloved and children that I was meeting a Facebook friend for coffee at Starbucks in town, they gave me grief. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

I had a peace about meeting Elise (click the link to read her blog, you'll love it). I never questioned that it was a God-incidence, that everything was going to be alright, that we were supposed to be getting together like new old friends (I am normally NOT this brave. I am actually a shy extrovert. Meeting new people isn’t really my thing, but this is about God and Elise, not me).

Even so, I arrived at Sbux early, got the table in the rear with my back to the wall with a clear view of both the door and the street. I felt at ease, but hey, you never know. I ordered my latte and a sandwich (I was oddly hungry), claimed the space (this Sbux can be intense; scoring a table is no mean feat), and sat. I actually ran into two good friends while waiting (I never go to either of the Sbux in town without running into at least one person I know…) Even the waiting was a message from God; I get anxious easily (did I mix up the date/time? was this a crazy idea? should I be here?) I am working on both stillness and silence, so the waiting, my meantime, let me slow my breathing, clear my head, and prepare to be present for the blessing.

In blows Elise, like a fresh wind. She smiled broadly. I recognized her immediately from her picture (I don’t even do photographs online-I use an avatar).  There was no awkwardness. I knew her. I met my friend.

God is remarkable. Before Holley Gerth envisioned the God Sized Dream Team, before either Elise or I were born, before the beginning of time, God crafted this moment; this meeting. He shaped this friendship, the fellowship and partnership and projects that will spring forth from this one moment. In Starbucks. Elise formally sanctified our corner to a Holy purpose…saying, “Maybe that corner of Starbucks will be forever anointed...as we return many times!" We shared a God-incidence. Holley never even considered our geography when establishing the team, only God. The Word reminds us tha
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
See, He knew what He was doing. He always does. That’s why we should follow His plans.  They are ALWAYS better.

In sharing with our online community after getting together, Elise wrote, “What an incredible blessing …. It's just, well, part of the way God is making our dreams come true. It was a pure delight to get together...and we know God has much more in store.”

Yup, I agree.  I, who am learning to reach out, to vote myself off the island I inhabit in my mind and embrace community. Real community, not just the people whom I engage online, safely, at a distance. Real community. Like my new buddy that lives across town, who I’ve certainly passed in the aisles at the grocery, or seen at local community events (we have friends in common). Even Beethoven knew we’d get together…isn’t that why he wrote Fϋr Elise? (okay, maybe not…)

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