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Encounter Friday: Love

Isolation takes a toll.

Isolation produces fear, it draws out guilt and gives voice to confusion. I hate trying to justify my actions. I hate trying to rationalize. I liked how easy and simple my faith used to feel.

We try to do all this busy work to convince ourselves we are good. But inside we are afraid. Afraid to let our secrets out, afraid to doubt, afraid to be okay with being more than just a bit broken. We are afraid that maybe we have gotten more wrong than we have got right.

I ask myself how I got this place of isolation, and I realized: I haven’t been in community. I haven’t been walking this out with the people around me. It’s easy to let our thoughts consume us. We need people to draw us back to what is true and what is good. We aren’t meant to live this life alone.

Fear, guilt and shame are temporary motivators. But they don’t drive us in the right direction. They drive us to isolation. They drive us to try to do it alone. They say, “If your faith is real you will able to do it alone.”

No. We can’t do it without God, and we can’t make it without each other. God works when we seek Him together.

Recently, I decided to go outside to play in the puddles forming in the field behind my house. I love watching the water run as the snow melts and spring arrives. We are all small streams running together. We are in different places. Some of us are running fast, some of us are almost ready to dry up. And in the midst of watching the streams running together, I realized: a single drop of water doesn’t move. It needs a stream of drops all running together to push it along.

Where does courage come from? Each other. Where does freedom from fear come from? Each other. Don’t get stuck. Find the river even if you feel like your in the middle of a wasteland.

For now I don’t have all the answers. So I’m going back to one thing. Love. To love the people around me, and be loved by them. I think that’s a good place to start.

As John 13:35 invites us, we will be known as the community of God because of the love we have for each other.

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