Can I just get by you?
Sorry! Tight squeeze!
I heard these phrases a lot last week at the Women’s Retreat. We were in a hotel suite, with oodles of tables, food, supplies and sixty of my closest friends. The hotel assured the planners of the retreat that the suite could hold upwards of 70 people. And it did. It just required some creative maneuvering during the sessions!
I’m sure some people were annoyed by the space and felt awkward literally being in each others’ personal bubbles (all bubbles were burst no doubt!)
But I loved it!
I thought it was a beautiful picture of the purpose of the retreat. The weekend centered around discipleship. Our speaker defined discipleship as friendship with a compass. I like to call it, “coming together for spiritual good.” It’s the process of getting into another’s life, seeing her triumphs and shortcomings, and helping her grow in spiritual maturity. The tight quarters provided me with an object lesson–a physical, tangible, un-ignorable metaphor– throughout the weekend. I literally could not hide. I was surrounded by women, friends, disciplers and discplees on every side!
In a ballroom, I would have been swallowed up in space. Surrounded by that many people, I would have been tempted to hide from others – both physically and spiritually. But this space didn’t allow me that “out.” I had to show up, open up, share, cry, and learn.
I loved every “Pardon!” “Excuse me!” and “Let me just slip by you!” I heard because it meant we were interacting, connecting, and preparing for discipleship at capacity.
And that was the whole point of the retreat!