I spent the last 2 hours with a group of young women.
They are a collection of beauty, brains, skills, strength, courage, love, loss, broken hearts, redeemed lives & fine cooking skills.
Last week the young mom of 2 served a feast and offered me lemonade.
I took the last glass.
It was real.
Definitely not koolaid, nor crystal light, not even countrytime. This was the real deal. Fresh squeezed lemonade.
I knew it immediately. Why? Because it was different. Because it was good. She nailed it. Perfection in a pitcher. The perfect blend of sweet and sour and water.
The next morning I sat with a new friend. The hours of conversation and stories told were a gift. I felt as if we were old friends catching up after going years apart.
"I wanted real." she told me about how she came to follow Jesus and worship with other believers, "Real people living their lives for Christ. I want to know how you recover after you've screwed up. I wanted to sit and watch and learn. I didn't care that older believers didn't have it together, I just wanted something real."
The statement resonated within me.
I do too. I want real truth, real friendships, & a Really Big God.
Life is too short to waste on fake lemonade.
I can tell fake lemonade the moment it comes to my mouth. Why? Because I know what it should taste like. I know there's such a thing as Real Freshly Squeezed Lemonade. And it's good. It's very good.
And isn't that why we converse? Why we gather over HIS WORD? Why we ask the questions? To invite Christ to be real to us.
To know his grace lived out among us mortal people, to know redemption is possible, to know mercy can be given and received by real people next door.
Life isn't easy in community. Hurt is very real. Living in a family of faith takes a lot of risk. But it is real.
Is there such a thing as too real?
Can there be too much lemon in the lemonade?
Yes there can be.
It's a balance.
Lemon- bitterness, Sugar- Sweetness, Water- the priceless element of survival.
We bring to the group our lemons- our hurt, our experience, our sin, our selfishness, our want to control, our dissatisfaction in all He's given.
And we bring in our sugar- sweet redemption, beautiful feminine hearts being changed into his likeness and for his glory.
And God, he comes with the water. Like the living water Jesus promised the woman at the well. It comes in and fills every empty place. It is main ingredient. He is our every reason. He is before all things and In him all things hold together. Col. 1:17 All things.
When others come and drink at my table I want them to experience something real. A sweet balance of where I've been, who I am becoming and the refreshing living water that fills every hallow place.
Avoiding fake lemonade,