I've been challenged to think recently on friendships that we have on this earth. I guess it's come at me from several fronts, and after emailing thoughts to a friend, I decided to put it on my blog. I'm really hoping this blog can be a neat record of not only what's doing in my life, but also the things I'm learning and thinking through. Unfortunately, I am continually finding myself in some place where I can't get my thoughts to a computer when my mind is spinning. And even now I should probably be making dinner or reading those chapters for tomorrow, but this really is a beneficial and awesome thing to do, and I know I won't regret it.
I living in this big city Atlanta, but really my life is within a relatively small community. And I'm glad for that - it's probably most of what keeps me here. But in a small community, you can't leave awkward or broken relationships alone without things going rotten. My students' families go to my church, my student is my next door neighbor, my dear friends worship with me on Sunday morning, my students watch me interact with my friends after church, I even see their parents at Starbucks...
The point is, if I sin agaisnt someone, it will come up in a very real part of my life and I must deal with it. If something goes down with a friend of mine, I must deal with it, or I won't be able to continue in this community. And that is so Good! It is so easy for us, I think perhaps especially in this day and age, to be isolated. It would be so easy for me to change churches, leave Atlanta, find a new circle of friends, and not work through that relationship. But this is not Christ-like, and this challenge is so good.
About a month ago a friend from a long time ago wrote me. We hadn't exactly parted on good terms...we didn't really part on any terms, but this letter challenged me to think about how one day we will be in heaven together, and our relationships will last for all eternity. Not that our relationship in heaven will be marred by our sins on earth, I think, but this was a reminder that there is no need to be hiding from one another. I think of people whom I have known in the past--whom I've been close to and have had a falling out with (or even just hurt by not keeping up the relationship), and I feel like this world is big enough so that I don't need to work on those relationships. It's easy for me to think that I never need see them again or interact with them on a deeper level, but One Day we will be worshipping our Creator side by side. How beautiful to restore relationships and live as the body of Christ should.