Healing for the soul

Tricia and I just came back from spending our economic stimulus check--thank you, President Bush and congress! Four couples spent nearly four days in South Carolina.

These people were dear friends of Tricia's in college, and I got to know them during seminary and occasional visits since then. Some of them we hadn't seen in more than 20 years. It was one of the most relaxing and healing experiences of my life.

There was no big agenda. The four guys did play 18 holes one day, and I proved once again that I can make even the worst of golfers feel better about their game. But playing amid the palmetto and pine trees was soothing, and finishing the last two holes adjacent to the shoreline was breathtaking.

Twice we walked along the ocean beach, something a Nebraska boy like me has done only a couple times before. Where we stayed, there were no cars, but we were given golf carts to drive around the little community. That was fun. Even though the setting was idyllic, I've been pondering about what made it so wonderful for all of us.

Because we have a history with this group, we were able to experience deep community very quickly. Christ-followers are called to bear one anothers' burdens, and we did some of that over the weekend. Everyone knew it was safe to be transparent.

And so much of our conversation was filled with laughter, remembering old stories, creating new ones. Our love for each other was evident.

The final night we prayed for each other, laying hands on each couple and praying for them and their kids (who were not with us). We shared holy communion well after midnight.

Even though all of them live far away from Lincoln, I know that any of one of them would come here to be with Tricia and me if we needed them. Community like that is healing for the soul.

I wish the same for you.