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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Together


Hug
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That I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:12 NASB) 

Ya gotta love social media. Any time of day or night you can find a friend ready to chat. And there’s always someone clicking “like” or adding an emoji to your latest whim post—for example, a selfie of you chowing down on a midnight snack raided from the fridge. It’s good fun, often downright hilarious.

We call this connecting, and really it is that. I’ve reconnected with college friends, stayed in touch with colleagues writing in far-flung locales, even “met” new friends who share love for books, music, or ministries I value.

I think the consummate letter writer, the apostle Paul, would’ve loved social media—probably for its immediacy, if not its substantive content.

“Hashtag: #PrayerNeed – being dragged before Caesar; pray now.”
“Hashtag: #HouseArrest – could use a cloak; deliver to prison cell.”
“Hashtag: #ReadingList – new scrolls needed; have read everything here.”

Letters (albeit slightly longer than the Twitter character limit) were his way of staying connected through his travels, incarcerations, trials, and tribulations. But, apparently, corresponding wasn’t as satisfying to Paul as face to face contact. So, many times in his letters, he’d write statements like, “I long to come to you,” “I hope to be with you,” “Come, if you can, before winter,” “If the Lord wills, I will see you soon.”

There’s something about a hug, a handshake, a meeting of the eyes in person. According to his letter to the Romans, being together with beloved believers was encouraging—for him and for them. Why? He gave us a clear answer in Romans 1:12: a special measure of faith is transferred only by person-to-person, immediate contact. His faith drew strength from seeing their faith in action—up close. The arrangement was reciprocal—their faith drew strength from seeing his faith in action.

We need each other—yes, in a cyber-world brand of connection, but in one-on-one connection, as well. We need the human sensory contact of touch, to supplement sight and sound. Nothing uplifts us like a friend’s embrace. On a spiritual plane, too, my faith needs yours to grow; and your faith needs mine. I guess God was on point when He observed early in the human story—it’s not good for man (or, we might add, woman) to be alone. Without human contact in the real world, it would indeed be a lonely planet.

Blessings and prayers, 
Julie 

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