The part that kept itself on repeat was the line, “…and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!” Despite my efforts to recall why I had this song in my head, it made me start thinking–something that’s proven itself dangerous at times.
Have you experienced a season in your life when all the pieces just felt like they’ve been turned around? Some pieces are flipped upside down. Some pieces are pushed outside the box. Almost all of it a little uncomfortable…like the Hokey Pokey? I’ve been in one of those lately. Things I thought would never be shaken, crumbled. Next steps I thought I knew were right in front of me turned into new steps I didn’t see coming. Other parts of my life that I thought were nailed in place needed moving.
Let’s think about doing the Hokey Pokey alone. Can you imagine the stares, the faces, the judging looks when you put your right foot in and out? The simple fun of the Hokey Pokey as kids is that we’re surrounded by other people being ridiculous at the same time. Everyone’s doing something outside of their normal and everyone’s just a little uncomfortable.
With every meal, coffee date, or phone call recently, I’ve been reminded that a season that feels uncomfortably unsettled is a season that I don’t have to walk through alone. Maybe my friends weren’t going through the same steps I was, but they at least knew the motions. They knew how to stand in the circle; to make the uncomfortable feel, well, uncomfortable. But they made it feel a little less lonely.
A few weeks ago, I had a particularly hard day. Those stable pieces of life felt really shaken and I found myself driving back from a trip wondering where in the world things were headed. One of my friends called to check in as I drove down the interstate. She asked a simple question, “Are you up for a little company tonight?”
Sure, I thought. Distraction. People to vent with. Yes. Great.
A few hours later, I walked into my house to find eight friends sitting in my living room. Nothing fancy–just some yoga pants, ice cream, and chips and dip. All of this because they knew that a circle isn’t a circle when someone stands alone.
We serve a God who isn’t afraid of our mess. In fact, we serve a God who is way bigger than the awkward, the uncomfortable, the painful, the hard. He not only sees it, but He can carry it. In our fragile humanness, however, our vision of who God is often becomes blurred when the pieces around us become unsteady. It’s the circle, the community, that stands by our side and does the reminding. When we get turned around they point us in the right direction. When we forget, they tell of God’s goodness. When we hurt, they give us a safe place to fall.
The circle gets to be the face of Jesus when we start to forget what He looks like.
Written by Katy Boatman, Discipleship Director