Pink and blue camp chairs changed my life......
I know...very strange you say, well, if you've got a minute, here's the story...or at least part of it.
Some years ago, not too long after we had departed from the traditional church world, we stumbled upon a lovely group of people who amazingly enough, all wanted the same thing we did in our Christian experience...reality in Jesus Christ.
God led us to them and that is a story for another day...but today I will tell you a bit about how we achieved the impossible...we explored and experienced real church life, just as you imagine it to be from reading the book of Acts and we did it together with this group of people.
We did it from those pink and blue chairs...
The very first corporate thing we did together was to throw out the Sunday church service...we moved the meetings to Sat. and Tues nights...then we added different kinds of meetings...song meetings..picnic meetings...brothers meetings, sisters meetings...business meetings (yuck!)
We went along like this for a while and God said it was good.
Then one day we decided that this wasn't enough...we could hear our Lord calling us onward, we couldn't really get to know Him sitting in a pew...so what could we do next to make our relationships with Him and within the body more real?
We felt we should erase the line between clergy and laity and become simply brothers and sisters....so we decided to push back all the pews and sit on the floor...except that didn't go over so well for very long with the, shall I say, grownups in the group...that's when we decided to purchase the chairs. They would be low enough to the ground to keep the playing field leveled yet comfortable and portable for the variery of meetings we were enjoying.
And so the pink and blue camp chairs came into our lives...
and God said it was good!
And boy did they change things too!
Suddenly people spoke up in meetings, those who had never done so before started songs or prayed aloud. People asked questions and answered them, they laughed outloud in meetings, some took off their shoes while others told them to put them on again. The casualness of life invaded our church and we became family.
Everywhere we went as a church, those chairs went with us. To conferences and potlucks, to campouts and bible study, to backyard barbecues and baptisms, literally everywhere.
When the pushed back pew set up was no longer cutting it we discussed moving together into a neighborhood so we could spend more time together loving our Lord in daily life...eventually some moved...some didn't...but one weekend we planned an experiment...we held an entire weekend of meetings, meals and fun in the neighborhood some had moved to...and eveyone else was to come for the weekend, to stay and eat and sleep over. It was an experiment in community. How would this lifestyle work? could it work? Would we love it? or hate it? did we need it or could we live without it? That weekend everyone came...we all piled into the few homes already available in the neighborhood, kids, bibles, casseroles and all. Then we walked between the homes for every meal, meeting and event. Everywhere we traveled during the weekend...we brought our bibles, our song books and our chairs. We set up shop wherever we happend to be and church life sprang up among us. Then we knew it...this was no longer optional, we needed this kind of church and each other, daily, to see our Lord more fully. This became our lifestyle...brothers and sisters living and loving Him together and God said it was very good.
For the next several years we grew up there in the church and in the Lord and some of the dearest saints in this world sat next to me in those pink and blue camp chairs. ..
A few years ago, and many miles down the road, with our own two chairs in tatters, I was forced to make the very difficult decision to throw them out. It was in effect the end of an era, the end of innocence perhaps, the end of so much.
And though time marches on and I no longer have the luxury of seeing saints outside my door on a daily basis...I will never regret nor forget, nor recover and I do not wish to. In this environment our lives were turned upside down and melted together in ways beyond imagining, not just for this lifetime but for all eternity.
Who would have ever thought it could all begin with pink and blue camp chairs?