“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:44-47
Somehow I got pegged as the “Cat Lady” (insert eye roll and shaking of head from author). I’m not really sure why. Am I a single woman who lives by herself? Yes. But I don’t even have cats. My friends will send me “cat lady” memes, ask me things like, “When are you getting a cat?” and I’m just like, “Really??” Don’t get me wrong: cats are cool, I love many people who own cats, and I actually kind of think that “cat ladies” are “hip” nowadays. Funny story, I recently went on a mission trip to Uruguay, and there were these cats that followed me everywhere. Seriously. One night I walked in the cabin where we were staying, closed the door, and immediately I had three cats outside that door looking at me. I chuckled to myself, thought in my head, “Seriously, God?” and moved on with my night.
Think of the stereotypical cat lady. What comes to mind? A single, lonely woman who is probably a bit older, who sits in her moo-moo’s, drinking tea and talking to her billion cats whose names include Whiskers, Fluffy, Puffy, and Snowball. Maybe it’s the loneliness that causes her to buy all these cats, I don’t really know but I start to think, “Do people think I’m desperately lonely and need cats to fill that space??”
Real talk: Do I get lonely? Absolutely yes. But this brings me to the point where I share my heart with you. I am incredibly grateful for community – for people in my life who do life with me. I think about this scripture from Acts when the believers did life with each other. They ate together, they made sure everyone’s needs were met, they worshipped together, they praised God together, and daily the Lord added to their fellowship. I have been abundantly blessed with people who love me even though they know I’m a hot mess, with people who pour into me on days that I have nothing to give, and people who cheer and hoot and holler with me when amazing things are happening. God uses this community as a source of joy and strength in my life. When the loneliness comes I don’t run to cats – I run to Jesus and I run to my community.
Now here’s the question, when God adds numbers to the fellowship, are we welcoming them in? Or are we keeping our little group closed because that’s what we’re comfortable with? It is my job and your job to include others into this community of believers. We welcome others, we love them, and we invite them to be part of a pretty amazing family. Everyone is invited….ok, even cats.