Some of us authors recently got together for a retreat. We hung out, refreshed our hearts and minds, and enjoyed each other’s presence. I didn’t make it to last year’s first-ever retreat due to unfortunate circumstances, but this year I made it.
Before the retreat and since the start of this blog, I’d not met most of the other authors in real life — though we’ve contacted each other through social media. So this year, I was pretty excited to see all of them! Some couldn’t make it, but I was still happy to see most of the authors and finally put voices and faces to their writing.
Throughout the whole retreat, it was amazing to have fellowship with the other guys and just be myself among them — for all of us to be open with what we’re struggling with, collaborate on ideas for potential posts, poke fun at each other, and mostly just be ourselves without judgment.
One of the things I like to do is observe. So while I was at the retreat, I was observing the other guys: how they acted, how they perceived themselves, and how they treated each other. Though all of us are different and have different ideologies, one thing was constant: LOVE.
Then, boom! This Scripture (John 13:34-35) popped into my head:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Yes, all of us were at this retreat because we struggle with SSA to some capacity and fellowship with each other through this common struggle.
But at the end of the day, the central focus was Jesus. Jesus is love, and through Him all of this was possible. If it weren’t for Jesus, it would just be some hangout weekend with a bunch of gay guys.
I think of the term #SquadGoals for our group. Go back to the Scripture, and the command or goal is there!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another….By this all will know that you are My disciples…
The disciples back in Jesus’ time — though they had a hard time practicing this — did evidently love one another to some capacity. I mean they didn’t kill each other when Jesus was around! But once Jesus left this earth, and the Holy Spirit came, love was amplified even more.
They could fully practice loving one another.
Throughout our retreat weekend, I realized how different we all were. Some of us were introverted, others extroverted, intellectual, sensitive, etc. Yet, we were all there for the same thing: to encourage each other despite our struggle with our sexuality and level of maturity in our faith.
In the future, we may have problems with one another. We might not see eye-to-eye, or have different perspectives for handling stuff, or a joke may go too far, but in the end it comes back to this central thing that unites us:
Loving Jesus and loving each other.
Just like Jesus had #SquadGoals with His disciples, we were His #SquadGoals too.
Is love the central theme with your group of friends? Do you desire this with a friend or your group of friends? How do you specifically love others?
* Photo courtesy Jakob Lawitzki, Creative Commons.