Like most spiritual things, spiritual growth is best done in community. We wrestle with others, not to sharpen our blades against one another, but to engage spiritual questions and allow ourselves to be transformed in community.
Last night, J and I sat at the bar at Ajax for a couple of hours and, like the incredibly good theology nerds that we are, discussed the nature of spiritual experience. We made fun of the English grad students sitting next to us for their pompous diatribes on Shakespeare, immediately returning to our own pompous explanations of the individuality of an experience of God.
For all our pomposity and arrogance, though, discussions like that with J are one of the most clarifying ways of understanding what's happening in the world for me. We agree enough to understand the subject matter, and we disagree enough to refine one another's opinions.
Penny's post and that conversation put my lenten travels into perspective. In the next 6 weeks, I'll get to see and sit and talk with almost all of my closest friends. Almost. And I might have to extend my travels past Easter - to get to Northern Virginia and France. But something is happening ("I do not want to make more of this than what it is," I wrote the other day, "but it is. It is.") and I want to be with the people who have become, over these last few years, my community.