It's been a quiet weekend. After a week of furious quilting with my sister, along with a quick trip out to San Juan Island to see our brother on his own (new) stomping grounds, RE left for home yesterday morning and I've just managed to do some basic chores I'd overlooked all week. It's ridiculous how much of Kincade's dog hair can pile up when I don't sweep every day! But generally, I've been having a quilting bee hang-over. The quilt RE and I made in 4 1/2 days is the largest, most complicated quilt I've ever attempted; we managed to sew all the rows together wrong the first time through. You'd think I'd never made a quilt before, it was such a rookie move. But we got it finished, with only a few tears, cuts and bruises. No broken bones.
But I do have quite the 'hang-over' from having sat at my quilting machine for a day and a half, doing the actual quilting. It's hard on bodies such as mine and my sister's. Neither of us are what you'd call physically fit. Each with our own issues (though some overlap), we sat side-by-side and willed ourselves through it. And while I quilted, she cut out a couple of projects I've had in my queue, waiting their turn.
It was a good week. A Koinonia week, if you understand that word. When I was in college there was a popular worship song that went, "Koinonia means fellowship, Koinonia means love one another. And when it gets hard, Koinonia means 'take my hand, we'll do it together..'" That's what my sister and I were doing this week. Doing it together. We checked out patterns on the internet, tried this one and that one, checked each other's work, got each other tea, gave each other breaks. And when it was too hard for me, when my leg hurt too much to bend over another minute, she just carried on while I lay on my bedroom floor and closed my eyes for a few moments.
We often put Christian fellowship in certain kinds of boxes. We think of it as sitting around in church halls, eating potluck dinners together. Or maybe having picnics on a summer afternoon. And we think of the actions we do for each other as service--when we help someone move, or build a house, or plant a garden, or take a meal to the sick. But all of it is Koinonia. Every bit of it.
Jesus said that whenever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. And that 'there-ness' of Him, that presence, makes it Koinonia. Fellowship. "Love one another as I have loved you," He says. In every way there is to love. In the quiet ways, like simply sitting as a person barely speaks about what is most troubling in their lives, and in the largest ways of all, giving of one's life in sacrifice for another. All of these ways are Koinonia.
And, it's as much a matter of Koinonia to say, "I need you to take my hand," as it is to be the one with the strong hand helping. It's as much a matter of the body, I should say, to know and admit I'm weak and in need as to be the one who is strong. Both are part of fellowship. We do it together. You and I and Him.
My sister and I lived this again this week, with a giant quilt stitched between us. One she will give to a woman who gave much to her. Doing together to bless. Yes, Koinonia also means being blessed to bless others. Fellowship.
Thank you, RE.