Parking lot fellowship was the best. People lingered, lounged on the hoods or trunks of their cars, or opened the car door and sat with their feet on the pavement. The evening church services were so wonderful that nobody was ready to go home quite yet. Maybe it was just being outdoors, but there was an atmosphere that made people comfortable. We took time to chat and get to know each other. We were relaxed and apt to open up a little bit and share things that were of a more personal nature. A lot of ministry took place on the lot.
Kids took advantage of their parents’ lollygagging to enjoy more play time with their friends. Teenagers clumped together in a clump to do teenager stuff. The women talked of fears, loves and struggles. Men walked and talked — speaking encouragement into each others’ lives.
As the sun began to set, we said our goodbyes and piled into our cars for the trip home. It sure had been nice — kind of like sitting and swinging on my granny’s porch after a big meal. We had partaken of the Bread of Life, savored the Living Water of His presence, and chowed down on the milk, honey and meat of His Word. It was hard to break the physical bond because of the spiritual bond that had formed among us.
We were God’s children basking in the afterglow of His radiance, swapping tales of His lovingkindness, and dreaming of a city whose builder and maker is God.
Sometimes we took the parking lot home with us. One night I invited several families and even a visitor or two to come over after church for a bite to eat, forgetting that was exactly what they would find in my kitchen — just a bite — until the drive home.
“Well, Jesus fed a whole bunch of people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes,” I thought. “It’ll work out.”
Everyone was quite buoyant as they came into my house. We gathered in the kitchen still excited about the move of God in our services that day. While they talked and laughed, I placed before them a half loaf of bread, a half jar of peanut butter, a full jar of grape jelly, half a bag of Oreos and water to drink all around. I passed out some knives and napkins, and you know what? They were so intent on sharing what God had done in their lives, they never even noticed what or if they were eating or that they were fixing it themselves!
“A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred.” — Proverbs 15:17