My encounter with this disciple making-focused group came shortly after graduating from a conservative Christian college. While the knowledge I gained about the Bible and learning to “think biblically” was invaluable, my relationship with my professors really shaped my experience there, and one relationship in particular with my advisor really sparked a journey for me of encountering the person of Christ. At the time I thought I was just “going deeper in my walk with God,” but in retrospect it began a process of understanding the person of God and therefore developing more of a relationship with him.
Joining this group was simply a continuation of what God had started in my friendship with my advisor. I remember after one of the first conversations with Lewie, walking away and asking myself, “do I really know what it means to be a disciple?” This word that’s so familiar in our Christian lingo, leaves much to be understood as far as how it is lived out in our day to day life.
That year in Chicago was one of the hardest years of my life, being freshly out of college, many of my dreams and aspirations were shaken by some harsher realities of life. Relationships that had been formational through out my years experiences turbulent curves. I came to the end of myself. I finally realized that though I had worked my whole life at being a goody goody, that was not in fact enough to be righteous and I do not really deserve God’s love for me if it’s based on my own merit. What I needed as those used to be pillars came crashing down was love.
That’s what that group, my family in Chicago provided. I can’t count the number of times I heard “Disciple in a word is love.” Love was what I encountered, love was what brought healing. It happened around a dinner table, it happened sitting down in conversation sipping on tea. At times it was an awkward dance as I learned to accept the love of the other people sitting around the table with me, as well as learned how to show them love. But it happened, somewhere along the way Tuesday night group became Family. It only took a few weeks being absent from them for me to turn to my husband and say, “I miss our family.”
I have much left to learn about what it means to disciple, but I have at least learned the importance of it, and have tasted how love goes hand in hand with showing others what it means to follow Christ.