A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Missing Friends

I've been thinking lately about how I'm missing so many of my good friends lately because of summer travel plans. That made me think of many of my good friends who live just far enough away that I don't see them nearly as often as I wish I could. Some of my good friends are here in town and I still don't see them nearly as often as I wish because of our busy lives. I began to wonder if face time is imperative to keeping a relationship going. In this age of cell phones, email, facebook, twitter, etc., it's easy enough to stay in touch even when we can't be in touch. When I want to be with my friends, though, I find it most satisfying when I can lay eyes on them, lay hands on them, give and get hugs, kisses, and slaps on the back. It's a realization that all of these hands-off ways of staying in touch simply aren't satisfying, or nurturing in a way I expect a friendship to be.

What I've come to accept is that my relationship with God is the same way. It's just as important for me to have face time with God as it is with my good friends. You might ask how that can be since we can't see or feel God. Well, I happen to think I can. I know I see and feel God every Sunday morning when I get up and go to church. I am surrounded by God. I see God in the faces of all of us as we lift them up in praise and thanksgiving. I feel God in all of the arms that hug me when I'm upset about something. I feel God in all of the hugs and kisses and slaps on the back that come my way when all is happiness. Being nurtured in my relationship with God is more than my private prayer and study time. It's about serving in God's name. It's about being with God's people.

When I think about the meal I share with fellow Christians every Sunday, I can't help but reflect on the tactile nature of this gift. Christ broke bread with his Disciples. He touched the bread with hands that would soon be pierced through. He lifted up the cup and blessed it with hands and arms that would soon be bound to a cross. We serve each other this blessed meal every Sunday with hands that have worked hard all week, with hands that have caressed a sick child's fevered brow, with hands that have held the hands of a grieving friend, with hands that have clapped in happiness at birthday parties. We partake of this greatest gift in remembrance of the Friend we have in Jesus. As I take communion, I tend to think of how wonderful it would be to reach out and touch Jesus. Give him a hug. I usually find someone to fill the bill before I leave.

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