Bob (he doesn’t really have a head that big – I was just bored and playing around) has been our county’s Santa Claus for as long as I can remember. His wife used to be the mayor. They were a wonderful couple and they have lived right across from our house for years…Bob’s wife Joyce died a few months ago, and I was told that her Memorial Service was hilarious (apparently, everyone mentioned how much Joyce liked to swear!). Our neighborhood as come together in a wonderful way for Bob and many nights throughout the week, everyone just gathers on Bob’s porch. A week and a half ago, I came home and went to go sit and talk with Bob. After awhile, more neighbors came over, and after awhile, there was a nice little group of us sharing, laughing, drinking (wine and fuzzy navels were the specials for the evening) and sharing our lives together. They’ve had up to 16 people on his porch before. What is it about the porch?
Joe Myers talks about the front porch in his book The Search to Belong. Many of our homes today and neighborhoods today don’t come with front porches. Yet, there was definitely something special happening (and HAS been happening for the past few months) on Bob’s front porch. We set aside our differences, our thoughts on politics and religion (while these things are still discussed) and come together because one of our neighbors had just lost someone he had spent the majority of his life with, and people were entering into his life in a profound way. Why doesn’t this happen more in the church?
I’m not saying this never happens in a church-setting. I’m sure there are some amazing stories of communities of faith coming together. I just don’t understand people in church sometimes. People talk about how wonderful the fellowship is, but yet they try to run as soon as the service is done and don’t want to stay for “coffee hour” (or if they do stay, you’d think they heard you announce “Coffee Minute” following the service). I just wonder what people who do this, think fellowship really is? A 1-min conversation, hug and cookie? Or does it go deeper than that? Is it sitting with people on their porch, evening after evening, drinking wine and fuzzy navels? That sounds deeper to me.