I need to get back into a small group.
We were in one in Nashville for a while, but my travel schedule made it hard for me to consistently make it.
My wife got tired of going to a couples small group all by herself. Go figure. She’s weird like that. Walked out of the Neverending Story movie when she was a kid.
One of the things I miss about small groups, in addition to going through seasons together, putting hedges of protection around people, shotblocking each other’s prayers, etc., are the surprises that happen.
I don’t care how long you’ve been in a small group, people are always full of surprises. Just when you think you know someone, they throw a curveball.
Case in point: One of the small groups I was in when we lived in Atlanta.
We’d been together as a group for about 6 months. The ice had long been broken. Our stories were long “unpacked.” Suffice it to say, we were “doing life together.” We were in the middle of reading CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity. That’s not as heady as, say, a century’s old tome covering Arminianism, Semipelagianism, and the writings of Hugo Grotius, but it’s not a cakewalk either. There are way easier entry-level modern Christian books you can start off slow with, as opposed to CS Lewis.
One night, as we discussed the book, one of the other husbands casually said, “It’s a good book. But at the end of the day, we’re all going to the same place. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, it’s all the same. Right?”
Then he waited for the person next to him to jump in with their thoughts on the book, as if he had just perhaps said, “I like CS Lewis. Big fan of Narnia. Gotta love the Narnia. How beautiful you think that mane on Aslan was? Flowing, I bet. Man.”
The group got quiet for a second because we weren’t sure if he was playing a wry, religious practical joke. We all waited for him to say, “Bazinga!”
But he wasn’t joking. He was serious. What’s surprising was that we’d met for six months. We’d known each other for half a year. We’d potlucked together, we’d even crock potted together.
And yet, we didn’t really know each other.
There were still surprises to be had.
And this one ended up being a great segue to a great discussion.
I miss that about being in a small group. That and most of the desserts. (I say most because putting nuts in brownies is like choosing to bake with gravel. Why you would ruin a perfectly good brownie with small rocks is beyond me.)
Has anyone in a small group ever surprised you?