Over Memorial Day weekend I spent some time with Mennonite friends at a cabin on Lake Michigan. After the full disclosure about the mice problem and apologizing for no WiFi, I was reminded that “we are all family here.” And so the weekend progressed. Our lives were shared, jokes were made, and we participated in the ritual of our usually individualistic living together.
It became clear early on that we all lead very different lives. We have different views and ways of being in the world. But we knew this. On the surface, we have a background of Mennonite Church teaching and Mennonite higher education. But we lead very different lives. We make life choices that are different from one another. They exist in whole worlds different from my very Mennonite, very white, very rural one. This was a place to withhold judgement. I wanted to jump to conclusions, but since I try (sometimes very horribly) to walk with Jesus, I did my best to listen. And I learned. I came away with books to read. I came away with new perspectives. Am I going to change the way I am living, move to the city, and detach myself from the entrenchment of all things Mennonite? Probably not. But I do feel closer to these friends of mine now that I listened. I feel connected to them. Unified? Maybe not. But connected, like family.
- John 17:20 - 26