by: Kelsey Lemons
Last night, November 24, I had the ability to partake in something beautiful. I was invited by some of my sweetest friends to gather around a table and enjoy communion and a conglomerate homemade meal. As we were nearly closing out the night with prayer, my friend Monica was thanking God for our time together and said something along the lines of "This isn't normal." And that really stirred something in me because she was so right, it wasn't normal. Yes, we do get to gather with others around tables much more than usual during the holiday season, but to be able to set out with intention to gather a group of people who want to glorify God and praise Him in so many various ways throughout the night... That's rare. And it was so beautiful. My friends put so much thought and intention into every part of the event. We opened the night with a short message and prayer and then passed around our plates, very family style, to serve one another. We were each given Flora stationery cards, designed by my sweet friend Alexa, to write a note of love and encouragement for one person in a nearby homeless shelter & one for a person sitting at the table. In addition, the purchase of the beautiful Flora cards benefit young ladies in Eastern Europe in receiving scholarships to continue their education. I hadn't even met the girl who wrote my card until after the fact, but I was still so touched and encouraged by her words and the truth she spoke over me!
Each person brought something to the plate, from delicious stuffing, to unleavened bread, to a prayer or a laugh. It reminded of how we are in the body of Christ. Each working together, each bringing something different up to the table, each a part of a whole. As prayers began and ended the night, I felt such a wave of truth and peace on a night when I know so many were experiencing so much confusion and unrest. It got me thinking about true "peace" and the way the media is using the word. Peace is a state of mind, but even more so it's a state of the heart.
Restricting, controlling, oppressing -- they don't create peace. That's not how God instills peace. An absence of apparent and visual violence, when hearts and souls are stirring and breaking isn't TRUE peace.
This year, I'm slowly but surely beginning to see things differently. Not just for what they are, but for what lies underneath. And I'm grateful to God for this. I'm grateful for community, for His guidance, for His overflowing heart, that He is near to the broken-hearted & I'm grateful that God cares for and loves us so deeply and that His power can instill a sense of peace in any heart through the most trying of times. My prayers are with you guys throughout the season and throughout the different struggles you're facing today.