Contemplative Life

Companions for the Journey

At Coracle we talk a lot about formation (it is part of our mission, after all!) and the truth that everything is forming us, in one way or another. If you’ve been around us for a while, you’re probably quite familiar with the questions: How is God loving me in this? What invitation am I sensing? What is forming me and how?

Well, definitely one of the ways we are formed is by who we are walking along with, both who we come alongside of and who comes alongside of us. As my pastor recently remarked in a sermon on friendship (“No Longer Servants but Friends”), amidst declaring all good God declared there was something “not good,” even before the Fall. And what was not good was for Adam to be alone. Despite his perfection, relationship with God, and lack of needs, God said essentially, “this is not enough.”

From eternity, there has been communion and friendship among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As God’s image-bearers, we are designed for community. Adam, in his perfection, experienced loneliness. How much more for those of us in a broken, imperfect world?

At one point in his sermon, my pastor made this observation, “the less you need friends the less you are like God.” Despite that I’ve experienced the joy and encouragement (as well as the heartaches) of friendships, I’d never thought of it in these terms. An expression of not needing others is a denial of God’s image in me.

We are, from the beginning, designed not to be alone. Designed for communion. Yet, so often we try to go it alone, for any number of reasons.

We might assume others don’t struggle like we do. Or that they won’t understand. Or that we don’t need anything.

We might find ourselves in difficult circumstances. Or strained in our relationships with others. Or without a community. Or just in a busy season of life that seems to make time for connections impossible.

We might choose self-reliance because of past betrayals and disappointments. Or pride in our own capabilities. Or, the opposite – we may think we “should” be able to do more or be more than we are. We may have placed a burden of perfection on ourselves that was never ours to carry.

It is in these “shoulds” that I often can find myself tripped up. And it is in sharing some of my thoughts aloud, and in the gentle questioning and encouragement from others in response, that I can be reminded of Jesus’ gentle gaze, steadfast friendship, and strength for the journey of this life.

On the third Wednesday of each month, Coracle offers The Deeper Journey, a space for community designed to help us go deeper – in Christ, together, and in our vocations. Each month, those of us who can make it, gather online to reflect, listen, encourage, and pray. We come from different places and life experiences, across states and even countries, across generations. Many of us have never met in person. Yet we can have a common bond and fellowship in this seeking, and it is a beautiful expression.

If you are sensing an invitation to go deeper with God, or with companions on the journey, please join us! This is an open invitation for any time. Our next online gathering is today, Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m. EST. You can register here or contact me for the details.

If you are in the Baltimore region and are interested in an in-person gathering of The Deeper Journey, please contact Scott Buresh, Community Minister for Baltimore.

Share this post

Keep Growing

Do you want robust Spiritual Formation resources delivered straight to your inbox each week?