Yesterday’s post, as I hope many of my readers figured out, was just a bit of micro-fiction to wrap up April. My thoughts today are the real deal, fresh from a Zoom meeting with my Bible Study Fellowship group.
With just one more session to go before we break for the summer, we’re starting to evaluate the past thirty weeks we’ve spent together. We twenty or so men have prayed, studied, laughed, and gotten to know each other. These things only happened because these men showed up weekly to spend some time together.
It’s all voluntary. No one has to show up at all. There are no penalties for absence. And yet every week, most of the men join the room, prepared to talk about the past week’s study.
The group leader called it the “Covid-cloud silver lining.” Though Zoom has been around for more than a decade, it became a part of everyday life in 2020 when everyone was in quarantine. Worship, school, conventions, concerts, recitals, graduations, and reunions all happened virtually via Zoom.
On top of all that, people showed up for groups that never would have existed before. My group consists of men from Florida, California, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Though thousands of miles apart, we were able to crowd ourselves into a thirteen-inch laptop screen.
I’m grateful for all who showed up each week. Each brought ideas and questions that never occurred, to me, stretching my understanding of the scripture we studied. The discussion filled the room with the joys and struggles of following Christ. Over time, a collection of strangers who showed up became friends. They made me want to show up, too.
I encourage you to show up, too. Some call it “being present.” Be there with someone who loves, encourages, challenges, and shows up to be with you.