Thursday mornings I get up extra early. I'm at the Deli by 7 a.m. One by one, they straggle in, these friends of mine, church ladies. I am one of the youngest. We catch up, pray, study together and do life, sharing each other's burdens and joys. All within the space of one hour, once a week. Charlene tried to express what this time meant to her this morning as we were getting ready to leave. This group is a place to process life, to work out our faith, to talk about deep theological issues as well as how we deal with family situations. We try to make it practical and applicable.
It's a lifeline really. This thing called fellowship. We are a small tribe, sometimes just two of us show up, other times as many as eight. But we are deeply connected. We ask about that grand-baby, or that situation at work, or the difficult pregnancy of our youngest, or the trip we are planning or just returned from. We remember and are connected. This connection feeds the soul. We share pictures, text or email each other. We see each other at church and sometimes at other gatherings. Yet it is this sacred time and space on Thursday mornings at the deli that bonds us. The waiter remembers what we like to drink and brings it when we arrive. We order crispy bacon or oatmeal or a full breakfast, but it is not the food that nourishes us.