Christian fellowship allows others to see your messes

Are other people allowed in your refrigerator?

Growing up, the refrigerator door was not a toy. At least that is what I remember mom telling me when I would swing it open. She also used to remind me that no duration of time spent gawking into the shelves would make any yummy treats appear that were not already present. Needless to say, I was not allowed to swing, peer aimlessly, or pointlessly open the door to the fridge without reason.

However, should I need to provide myself with a sandwich or a cup of kool-aid, the door was always an option, and I generally exercised privilege when there was purpose to the opening of the fridge. But there was an unspoken policy in place when it came to other people opening that door. Having many friends from the neighborhood over frequently, the house was common ground to most who passed through. But, the fridge was not to be opened by those who did not reside in the house. Our home operated on a budget and a single income, sometimes even on state or federal assistance, making the contents of our fridge very valuable indeed.

The refrigerator door was not to be opened by those who were not residents of the home, and those who did would be quickly reminded not to enter the forbidden fridge zone.

After growing up, I began to notice that this rule was not unique to my home, or dictated by a denominator of neighborhood children running to and fro spreading germs and invading privacy. I even experienced the same taboo feeling of daring to open the refrigerator door in the homes of close family members whose homes were open, but not frequented enough to warrant fridge rights.

To this day, I can honestly say that a visit to someones home brings fear and trepidation if they say that I am welcome to help myself to the contents of their refrigerator. Even if they insist, opening that door and exposing unknown contents, and fumbling for unfamiliar condiments to assemble a sandwich can provide great anxiety. It is much easier when people just get what I need out of the fridge for me and everyone is much happier that way.

Other people’s refrigerators are messy. Sometimes they contain really leftover leftovers. The contents of a fridge can tell you many things about a person or family. Many refrigerators can give you a quick glimpse into the financial situation of its owner. It is interesting how much we can learn from a refrigerator is it not? Most people are uneasy about other people entering their refrigerators, and likewise their lives. I think the two can easily be one in the same. While thinking about Christian fellowship, the refrigerator door showed me what it is like to really have all things in common with others.

When I was younger, other people were not allowed in the fridge. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, my fridge is open to any who dare open it. And it’s contents belong to any who desires to have them, even if it is the last turkey sandwich.

For me, true Christian Fellowship can be seen in the privilege of access to your brother’s and sisters refrigerator’s. Even more so, fellowship is established mutually. A refrigerator full of leftovers is not a blight on your reputation when you truly desire to have others see you as you are. Commonality exists in the content of our relationships, and is truly fostered in Christ-like conformity when we allow our guards to go down and the doors of our refrigerators to swing open. Even though it is easier to just have someone serve you from their refrigerator themselves, we miss out on much of the value had in earning the trust and love in genuine relationship with others. When all things are in common, the relationship becomes more important than the possession, and that last piece of cheesecake truly belongs to any who desires it. My fridge is your fridge.

Now if you really want to push someone’s allegiance to the limit and test the measure of their resolve, ask them to help you clean a dirty refrigerator. That might be the fellowship breaker indeed!

*This post was originally posted at my former blog, Deliver Detroit.

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I love writing about books, theology, and the Kingdom of God. I also enjoy viewing my vocation through a biblical lens. It is here at Seeking A Kingdom that I aim to hash out my thoughts on all these things.

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