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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Connected

I opened the front door to let in the man who would walk through our newly-finished basement to assess the work and to make sure that it was up to code.  The inspection process would take under an hour, we were told.  Our contractor was a good one, and he didn’t cut corners.  I wasn’t worried.

The inspector was a friendly guy, and we made small talk as we moved through the large room.  I learned that he lived thirty minutes away, but was originally from another part of the state.

Oh yeah?  Me too.  What town?  I asked.

He gave the name of the city I always give when people ask me the same question.  Me too! I said, smiling.  Though not really.  My hometown is smaller, but no one has heard of it, so I usually don’t bother mentioning it.

Me too, he repeated.  He offered the name of his hometown.

My eyes widened.  It was the same small town I knew, the one where I grew up.

What is your name?  I asked. 

He told me, and I smiled again.  His last name was familiar, belonging to two school pals from my younger years.

Do you know them?  I asked, mentioning the names.

Sure, he said.  They are my sister and nephew.

We laughed as I explained that his sister and I were friends when we were kids, and we talked about our other mutual connections for a few minutes.  He told me what his sister was doing now, and called her to say hi and to share the coincidence.  He handed the phone to me and we said hello and asked how are you and laughed about this chance meeting.  Small world, we inevitably agreed.

The older we get, the more people we know.  I’ve run into people from my past in airports and on vacation, and the longer we live in our current home, the more connected to others we become.  It’s no longer surprising to see familiar faces at the grocery store and gas station.  We are rooted here.  It’s a comfortable feeling.

I love connections.  This affinity was passed to my daughter, whose teacher once remarked on all the connections she makes between topics at school.  We come from a long line of people who love to share connections.

They’re comforting, these connections. They remind us that we are not alone in this world, that there are others who relate.  Others who know what we know, believe what we believe, feel what we feel, and who understand what we’re all about.  Finding a person who gets me is all I ever wanted in life.  It’s a nod to my existence, a chin up that acknowledges that I’m really here.

After a lifetime of looking for connections, I’ve learned that a deeper connection with God is much more satisfying than any connection I can make with another person.  The Holy Spirit connects me to God as I navigate this life down the road he laid out for me, and I dwell in his presence as my life moves forward.  This  connection has shown me that God is always consistent.  He knows me. He gets me.  His love never fails despite my own failings.

I am here.  I exist.  And I am his, forever connected.

via

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Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


Ephesians 2:1-10

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I particularly connect to this part: Finding a person who gets me is all I ever wanted in life. It’s a nod to my existence, a chin up that acknowledges that I’m really here.

    And how GOOD to relate it to God because I'm not sure if I've ever thought about it that way.

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    1. Thank you, Jennie. One of my most urgent needs is for people to KNOW me. I would get angry and depressed when I felt I was being ignored. It was very freeing for me to realize that only God could ever really know me. It lifted the weight I placed on the shoulders of my loved ones, and I learned to depend on God - not people - for this intimacy, and I am able to exercise forgiveness and grace in ways I never had.

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  2. St Augustine said, "God loves each of us as if there was only one of us to love." Your post reminded of that. And I love this from you: "His love never fails despite my own failings." Thank God for the Holy Spirit who connects us to him and to each other!

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    1. Thank you for the kind and thoughtful words, Hillary. I love that St Augustine quote. It's a thought that I cling to.

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  3. To be rooted in Christ will allow us to be intertwined with others as the branches are on a tree. I loved reading of your path crossing with someone you knew, but more importantly, how God reached you in this connection!

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    1. Chance encounters are truly a joy for me and I never forget them. The intertwining - I love that. Thanks for sharing that image.

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  4. this is beautiful Andrea. I love your message of connections, and especially how you dove deeper to find the truest connection we can have in our Heavenly Father! TRUTH!! No one ever knows us like Him. That will be our constant connection always and forever...

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    1. Thank you, Chris! I am so grateful that he knows me through and through.

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  5. So true! A true relationship with Christ is the ultimate connection. Great reminder & great post. I love those "small world" connection moments too. Next time it happens I'll be thinking about this!

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    1. Thanks so much, Megan! So glad to help in any way. :)

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