I've said so often how much I love Thursday nights--the night when it is a full house around here.
This Thursday, I stopped at the post office as usual on my way home. Laurie, the lady who runs the post office, was reading a book behind the counter and had a note book and highlighters out. She told me with excitement that there is a Bible Study in Bradford and that she is studying a Beth Moore book there, but, she said, she has an hour of homework to do every day.
Laurie is dark haired, with kind, brown eyes. She is short and of stocky build and Ukrainian background. She was going to the Ukrainian Orthodox church in town, St.Catherine's, but now attends Holy Martyrs of Japan in Bradford. She was telling one of her customers that she had said to her priest, "Father why don't you have a Bible study?" which prompted the customer to tell her about the Beth Moore study. Laurie felt as though she had stumbled upon a well kept secret--a Bible study in Bradford.
So I told her about our Thursday night cell group. Laurie's eyes widened. "You are kidding!" she exclaimed, "In Bond Head? And you study the Bible?"
"Well, we are studying "The Attributes of God" by A.W. Tozer," I said, and explained how we are always studying a book about God and I made sure she knew she'd be welcome anytime for supper and the study. It made me wonder if we have become so politely reserved about sharing our faith that people stumble upon God as upon hidden treasure,finding out only by accident that there are place where people love to gather, eat together and talk about God.
Depending on how busy a week I'm having, I sometimes experience a mild panic as Thursday approaches but then I default to something simple, reminding myself that it is sitting down together around the table that is the true gift.
After supper this week we sat down and talked about the chapter on the immanence of God; the fact that God penetrates everything. I had such a busy week that I hadn't read the chapter, but Jane led the study with such energy that you would never have known that she had said when she first walked in how tired she was. Other who had read the chapter were excited about it and I felt that I had missed something by not making time to read it. I made a mental note to take some quiet time and read it, because as we skimmed over the parts that people were so excited about, I glimpsed tantalizing passages in between. Gotta go back!
At the end our conversation took a hilarious turn and we laughed so much our sides hurt. Jane called us to order for closing prayer and started with the words, "Father we thank you for A.W. Tozer," and paused for a second. A snigger erupted from somewhere, followed by peals of laughter and then howls, from all around.
Jane lost all control and laughed so loudly and freely that it seemed as if a dam had burst somewhere deep within. We wiped our eyes, and held our ribs and with eyes shining and moist with tears, hugged one another goodbye until next week.