Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

In the midst of chaos, the thoughts I've been pondering this week have to do with The Fellowship of the King.  No, I am not mixing my Tolkien titles.  Instead I have been thinking about the fellowship we... who are united in our decision to follow our Lord and King... enjoy whether we know each other in person or only through the various technologies available at this moment of time.

These rather happy ponderings were sparked by sad news, the passing away of one of my long time Internet friends.  We knew Penney as Tinger... one of the original ladies in our Christian women's forum whose friendship found its' genesis in the emergency preparedness site of the late 1990s.  Tinger experienced a battle with cancer for over a decade with such bravery and grace.

A very proud Canadian, we always laughed how she could trump any of our complaints about brutal winter weather in the "Lower 48" with her tales of -50 wind chills and recent twenty foot snowfalls.  She will be missed but all her friends are relieved to know her days of pain are now behind her.

I started thinking how tears could be shed for a friend I've never met in person and how lovely friendships have developed over the years with people I have only spent time with through the technology of the computer.

A handful of us have met in person as our paths crossed over the years and with some there have been the occasional telephone call.  At times we have shared handwritten letters and cards... but mostly e-mails, forums, blogs, and all other sources of technology which utilize mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

I remember somewhere in my reading... I think it was Ravi Zacharias' autobiography... where he talked about that odd feeling one finds coming upon them when sitting in a busy airport or at a table in a crowded coffee shop and instinctively feeling a connection with another person.  As a conversation is begun and questions asked, one finds the other to be a fellow follower of Christ and the attraction to another was that of the Holy Spirit who lives within all who follow Him.

I've had that experience before, which is most likely why that passage of words jumped from the book into my memory!   It was as if a total stranger was a long lost relative with instant fellowship between us as we talked and listened and listened and talked... instant friends who perhaps will know each other for years and years or may only chat until it is time to pick up a child from their fencing lesson or be on time for an English class.

I have been asked numerous times why I believe blogs are so popular and their numbers are now in the millions.  I know there are many reasons but one I find over and over in my own little corner of Blogdom is the joy that comes with finding those who understand us... some who enjoy the same style of decorating, or cooking, or sewing, or homeschooling, or simpler lifestyles, or pets, or books, or tea time... etcetera.

But also the Fellowship of the followers of the King... fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from all parts of the world.  What is that line of C. S. Lewis in Shadowlands?  "We read to know we are not alone."

How very true in this place of time and history... and we feel that fellowship with other believers through land lines and DSL and satellites and all other modern forms of taking this amazing vehicle of communication to all the world... and some become very, very special friends.


Rebecca said...

Fellowship of the followers of the King. Ah. How sweet it is. And then add coffee & books...(note I left out tea) and the fellowship just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter!

Just this morning in Sunday school I mentioned a blogging friend as though we were face-to-face friends. It was out before I realized it. Then I felt self-conscious about how easily and sincerely spoke of her as "my friend"...

I'm SO glad I'm a part of the family of God! How blogs & technology have extended my family!

Kimberly said...

And I am so glad to have "met" you though this. Getting to meet in person in heaven will be petty great as well!

Mrs.Rabe said...

This is the main thing I love about blogging! I have found that I am "not alone in the world" to use C.S. Lewis' quote for my own purposes!

I found a friend the day I found your blog, one who likes tea, reading, scifi (my husband and I loved the Star Trek TNG!), gardening, homeschooling, family, and much, much more!

Have a lovely day!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your friend. She sounds like a nice person.

matty said...

Yeppers! I think you are exactly right. Just think how fortunate we are that we get to "know each other" over the computer. How much richer we are for knowing that kindred spirit we wouldn't have known otherwise! How blessed to find that person who will understand us when those in our immediate realm don't.

I am so glad for friends like you who make me smile on days when I don't want to and make me grateful for the glorious lives we all can live!

Karen Andreola said...

It is generous of you to share your Sunday meditations of the comfort of Christian friendships, and sadness of a passing friend.

With the same quote by C S Lewis in the back of my mind (we had attended a Sunday School class that was studying one of his books) I found myself answering a blog comment with "We blog to know we are not alone." It just slipped out - and from someone who still writes paper letters.

It's been a pleasure to meet you,
Karen A.