I love my cyber friends.
Really, I do.
They challenge me, inspire me and often encourage me.
When I read their clever, and sometimes convicting, comments or receive a timely, refreshing email or a heart-felt Facebook message, well the smile it puts on my face stays for days.
Yep, I love my cyber friends.
But have you ever noticed that when you go too long without face-to-face encounters with a flesh-and-bones nearby friend, something feels wrong.
So we keep hopping on the computer or texting away on the cell phone, hoping for some connection that will fill our friendship needs.
Our souls yearn for that eyeball-to-eyeball connection with another human being.
Nothing can replace it.
And do you know Jesus expected it of us? My pastor pointed out not too long ago that the phrase “one another” appears over 50 times in the Bible.
As in love one another.
Pray for one another.
Encourage one another.
Meet with one another.
Spur one another on.
Consider one another.
Live in harmony with one another.
Offer hospitality to one another.
Forgive one another.
Thats a lot of one anothers.
Just this weekend, I was feeling disconnected. While I love the ministry I have with Proverbs 31 and the fabulous people I am able to meet because of it, my soul was out of sorts.
I was coming off of a week of connecting with many women far away, both to encourage and be encouraged, but I wondered the difference I am really making in my little and actual corner of the world. Am I being used by God to touch the lives of people right in my own backyard?
When Todd & I were in full-time ministry, I often felt used (and even sometimes plum worn out!) but the feeling was fulfilling. I still get those feelings, but they are more now in regards to women at my events or whom I know from cyber land.
I mulled this all over in my brain as I downed a cup of coffee early Saturday morning.
Then, I set off to run my errands.
My first stop, the bank, found me running into a woman who’m I’d coached in cheerleading back when she was in high school. She had such kind words for me.
Next, I bumped into a high school classmate from waaaaaaay back. I smiled as we chatted about our former friendship and where we both were today.
Then, it was a fellow mom with whom I’d visited with on the sidelines here in town for many years when our boys played baseball together. A year or so ago, Todd had decided we’d help them out financially when the father in the family lost his job. She said she’s never forgotten it.
As I made my way home, I thanked God for the reminders that face-to-face friendships make a difference.
Oh yes, I still plan on connecting with my cyber sisters and Facebook friends, but I also plan to be more intentional with my friends, old and new, nearby.
Maybe it is the Michigan cold that is keeping me holed up indoors. I don’t know. But I do know that we all need those nearby friends with whom we can do life, bearing one another’s burdens and sharing each other’s joys.
What about you? How are your face-to-face friendships? Any of the rest of you in need of a coffee date with a friend or a home visit to help her with a chore (maybe one of the ones we all talked about here last weekend?)
Speaking of telling….I wanted to tell you that on both Wednesday and Friday this week, we’ll have a giveaway. And I also wanted to tell you the winners of the weekend “Paralyzed Procrastinators” giveaway. They are:
Send your home address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get your prizes to you pronto.
As for the rest of you, what are your thoughts on friendship this day?