Overall, I was dissatisfied with the way Lost ended. So many unanswered questions. I really felt that the writers kinda phoned it in — we know we told you all along that this was a plot-driven and character-driven drama, but just kidding! Only the characters mattered and uh….
But I will say that the ending made me cry. When everyone had their little flashes and they “knew” about their life on the Island, I cried. And when they all met up in that ecumenical church, I cried.
I had an amazing group of friends through my “house church” (our term for small group) in college. And like Jack and some of the other Losties, I didn’t know until we left how special the connection we had with this group of people was. It was not run-of-the-mill. It was once-in-a-lifetime. It was sacred, holy, set apart. It was the body of Christ as best as I have ever experienced it in my 26 years of life. It was family. It was love. It was friendship blessed by God.
We had almost all of our former house church over to our house yesterday. And it was just amazing to me that even though we see each other maybe once a year, we get together and it’s like we never left. There’s no awkward we-used-to-be-really-close-but-we’ve-kind-of-grown-apart small talk in the beginning, that eventually eases into comfortable conversation. It’s like we just saw them last week. I think it’s because we carry each other in our hearts daily, so when we do finally get to see each other we just fall into the same pattern of genuine love and concern that we had when we did see each other all the time.
I realize that our house church as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore. We’re all out of college now, and we’ve (mostly) moved out of Muncie and into various parts of Indiana (or Georgia). And even though we’d jokingly say to each other yesterday in our best drunk-Jack voices “We have to go back!” we all know that we can’t go back. Even if we could, some of us would be stuck in 1977 and some of us would get blown up by an atomic bomb and it just wouldn’t work out like we want it to.
I realize that. We all do.
But all of us — all of us — at some point yesterday expressed that we all really, really missed what we had. We’re all struggling with finding that same kind of authentic community we experienced together. We’re in different stages of life — some are single, some are married, some are married with kids, some are engaged. We all attend different church bodies now. But we have all struggled after college to find/create the same sense of community and meaningful relationships. Spiritual conversations never felt forced — they flowed naturally out of our love for God and for each other. Now we’re finding that those kinds of conversations don’t happen naturally within our current faith communities. And even we we try to be intentional, we find that the conversations feel forced and dry.
I don’t think any of us are doing something wrong at our current churches. I don’t think that our current churches are necessarily doing something wrong, either. I think maybe authentic community was something we all craved, and we made it a priority to do life together. To follow Christ together. To make church who we are and not a place we go or things we do. God put us all together, and it just clicked.
I still need that so much. It makes me cry a lot. It makes my heart hurt. I don’t think any follower of Christ ever grows out of the need for real, significant relationships with other believers. It makes me sad that I don’t feel that I have that right now. It makes me sad that my husband doesn’t have that right now. (Because? How is a man supposed to love and lead his family well by himself? In a vacuum? Without other men who are also striving to love and lead their families well? Proverbs 27:17 — “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”) There are many lovely people at our church, but we just don’t have the same connectedness that we had with our house church.
We’re all awkward sorts. (It had been said by people not in our house church that our house church would we the one Jesus would have been in, as it was full of misfits and odd sorts and social outcasts). And we just get each other. We love the little idiosyncrasies that make each person who they are. We enjoy each other.
Yesterday I laughed until I cried. I laughed until my face hurt. I looked around felt such overwhelming love for each person there that at times I had to keep myself from crying. People didn’t leave until midnight. I wished we had room for everyone to stay the whole weekend. I was totally and completely exhausted — and completely happy. It was one of the best days I have had in a long time, maybe in my whole life, and I am including my wedding day and the day Sam was born.
It was a little slice of heaven. While I think that heaven will be a little less ecumenical than the Lost finale, and I would like to replace Christian Shepherd with Jesus, I think that was what made me cry about the Lost finale — everyone finally together. Where they belonged.
I know we are where we are for a reason. And everyone else is where they are for a reason. But I miss what we had, more than I think I could ever explain. I am thankful for the enduring friendships we still have. And I am looking forward to seeing Jesus face-to-face and worshipping the One who brought us together and gave His life to make us one with them, for eternity.
You are one of the surest signs I have that God exists, and loves me.