My cat coughed up a massive nasty hairball the other night.He was not trying to gross me out; he was just being a cat. In fact, he would have probably gotten sick if he had not been able to expel that hairball, so he got it out, and I cleaned it up. I did not scold him for not going outside to get sick. Afterwards, he felt a lot better, and fell asleep on my lap. The next day, he was out again keeping our neighborhood free of mice.
Not wanting others to see the yucky parts of our lives, our hairballs, is one reason some people do not join small groups. It is easier to hide in a group of 150 than in a group of 15. However, what we miss is the opportunity for healing and comfort. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Getting rid of our hairballs is not the sole purpose of a small group. It is just one way in which a small community can assist us in becoming what we are meant to be, healthy: at peace with God, ourselves, each other, and able to minister to our community.
©2011 Paul Tillman