Made For ThisGrow with, encourage and love them as God loves you. This is what you were made for.
Confession: I am a sucker for a good television crime drama. It all started as a child when my mom would watch “Murder, She Wrote” and “Matlock.” Now it’s “NCIS,” “NCIS: LA,” “NCIS: Hawaii,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “FBI: International” … we just keep spawning spinoffs of the same show, don’t we? If I explore the why behind this, I think the answer comes from a longing for justice, to see everything turn out alright in the end. (On a fun side note, listen to “The Battle Line Podcast,” Episode 9, to find the spicy take that PAW Patrol is a gateway for crime dramas. Gotta start the children early.)
There is one show that always gets me, though: “Blue Bloods.” In every episode, the family at the center of the show, the Reagans, will get together for Sunday dinner. This is a multigenerational family, starting with the great grandfather and all the way down to his great grandchildren. Every time I watch it, I get a little sad, wishing I had that opportunity to be with my family on a regular basis. Being the child of Salvation Army officers (pastors), and now an officer myself, who has moved around the southern United States every 2-4 years, I’ve never really had the opportunity to gather with family in that way.
What it boils down to is longing to be with my people. There are times when I long to live in close vicinity to my family, where my children could grow up with their cousins and drop in at their grandparents. While I love this job that I do, I miss that kind of community.
There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we’re wired for living in community. We are a people made for relationship by a God who is a relational God. This pandemic put a restriction on so many ways in which we live out community. Churches and schools going virtual, limits on travel. We’ve been living in this atmosphere for two years and while these measures were necessary, they don’t make community easy.
The Bible lines out how we should treat one another and how we should be together as His Church. It instructs us to love each other, to encourage each other, to bear each other’s burdens, just as Jesus promised to bear ours. The pandemic rages on. I would challenge you, within the necessary measures of safety, to find ways to connect with those around you. Fight the temptation to become isolated and reach out to others. Find your people, your community and invest. Grow with, encourage and love them as God loves you. This is what you were made for.