By Cristin Cooper
On Wednesday, January 23, I came home to find one of my neighbors playing outside with her toddler and Pre-K children. The weather had turned unexpectedly nice and she was making the most of it.
As I looked on at their game of tag, I thought the moment made for a good conversation. So, I got out of my car and made my way over to them. My neighbor received my presence joyfully. Together we stood catching up on our Christmas and New Years holidays. Suddenly, her toddler fell down while running on concrete. No major harm had been done, though his interest in playing outside was extinguished.
“Well, that’s a wrap, time to go in,” my neighbor said.
Feeling like we were having good conversation, I boldly asked, “Can we continue this conversation inside? I mean, I don’t know what the rest of your afternoon looks like…”
“Oh yeah! Come on in,” she responded cheerfully.
From there we headed inside and down the stairs to her family’s basement. My eyes immediately landed on the outside playhouse situated in the middle of her living room.
Noticing my stare, my neighbor chimed, “Oh, I moved that inside once it got cold. The kids love it,” she boasted.
“I bet,” I said.
She then gestured for me to sit down on the couch.
“Would you like something to drink?” she asked. “I have water, tea, soda.”
“I’ll take water with no ice, please” I said.
“I don’t like cold water either,” she said.
She then handed me a room temperature water bottle before plopping herself on the couch with a I’m-ready-to-sit sigh. Once settled we returned to the conversation we were having outside, talking about her children’s father, extended family dynamics, meal-prepping tactics, exercise plans, morning routines, and church experiences.
I told her I felt called to be a church planter.
“I’d come to your church, heck I’d bring my family,” she piped.
With this, I got excited. Let’s start a small group next week and then from there grow into a neighborhood church!, I thought. But I didn’t say my thought aloud. It didn’t seem right. Perhaps it didn’t feel like the right time. Or, perhaps, just not right in general.
Perhaps it was because somewhere inside of me I felt we were having church right now. After all, I know that where two or more are gathered there is Jesus.