24 June 2014

Nothing Can Separate

Have you ever had a passing thought that got lodged in your senses somewhere between a giggle and a tear? Today, as I was walking back to the flat where I am staying, I had just such a thought about a friend ~ words that might have been spoken, and behavior that might have taken place in that particular moment of time. 

I haven't been able to shake it since.

This time ~ this quiet, alone with the Lord ~ time, seems to bring deep things to the surface like the ocean's tide serves to cleanse the sea.

My heart churns.

Friends. I have lots of them and I make them easily. Loneliness has never been an issue in my life. In fact, I often have to fight for time alone. It's just in my nature to enjoy people, and I do enjoy people!

Today has been different though. The presence of the Lord is so very close. His breath whispering to my heart the prayers that bubble up, like a bottle of pop shaken to the point of explosion. Tonight, the sticky remnant coats memories of days gone by and current needs of friends a half a world away.

Our lives were once so intertwined that words of encouragement came with automatic hugs attached, and tears turned to laughter with little effort. Now, 10,000+ miles of life and calling require a new dependence on Holy Spirit, both to comfort those I love and often to know what or how to pray.

The past couple of days I have been focused on reading through the gospels in chronological order. It's been interesting to read the various accounts of the same events from one writer to the next. Peter is one of my favorite friends of Jesus. I noticed how the stories involving him differ in heart, from one writer to another. John, taking special care to honor his friend, was the only one to recount Jesus restoring him. Maybe it was just my perception today, the tenderness of my own soul, but it seems as if the relationship between Peter and John was something special I had not previously recognized. 

Jesus often took the two of them, along with James, where others were not allowed to go. They were the ones that saw the Lord in moments that no one else ever did. They shared secrets of the heart that could not be shared among the others. That 'preferment' is not something that people like to talk about, but, it is present nonetheless, and it forms a bond between those who find themselves in that place together.

All twelve traveled with the Saviour, everywhere, for three years. The nine were not less than the three, but their place in the life and ministry of Christ was different. So it is with our friendships, there are those Peter, James and John relationships that Matthew, Mark and Luke may never understand. Like Jesus, it would be pointless to try to explain. As the years go by and the call of God scatters friends among the nations, each one just 'knows', and a passing thought occasionally gets lodged.

As the sun sets on this beautiful South African day, my heart is close to those I love so dearly and have called friend for so many years. The memories are precious and the relationships ~ priceless.

So, the next time a thought gets caught, 

let the tears of sweet memories fall
and laugh with the giggle .

I am certain that nothing can separate us from His love.
Romans 8:38

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