Musing… Granddaughter-Hannah talks about ‘hanging out’ with her friends at college…
Throughout my life I’ve built relationships with people by doing stuff together.
At school we planned and worked through a curriculum project, school sports day or the end of term concert. At church we prepared and put on a Holiday Club for the children, cooked a Christmas meal or conducted a carol service for the local community.
Teams of people working together and building relationships through activity.
Hanging out is different. What’s important is being together – not the activity.
I’ve just hung the washing out on the line – t-shirts, jeans, sweaters, socks and underwear. They don’t do anything – they just hang there together. If the sun shines and the wind blows they will dry together. If it rains they will get wet together.
Sharing the day; hanging out.
On Monday I popped into Men’s Shed. There were about 25 of us. Some were involved with wood-work projects, chatting about progress and plans… Casual conversations about cars, gardens, families, medical concerns… Sharing a morning; hanging out.
On Monday we had a family meal. Seven of us celebrated Rachel’s birthday. The meal was good. More important was that we were together as a family – talking, laughing, catching up. Sharing an evening; hanging out.
Yesterday lunchtime I popped into our local pub – ‘Oddfellows’. There was a group of 6 elderly men around a table wearing t-shirts ‘Grumpy Old Oddfellows’. They were drinking, talking… they didn’t seem too grumpy. Sharing lunch; hanging out.
Musing… Rev Saju Muthalaly, appointed as Bishop of Loughborough:
‘My priorities in ministry are profoundly relational. If I have felt anointed in anything, it is in forming friendships, gathering God’s people, and creating hospitable and loving spaces in which people can grow in faith, hope, justice and love.’
I understand this better than I used to. Using Christian jargon – perhaps this is the ‘ministry of hanging out’. Jesus demonstrated it… Perhaps that’s what Hannah has.