Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls but has no one to help [her] up.—Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
If genuine friendships are a measure of blessing (and I believe they are), I am among the most blessed women ever. Despite my vagabond existence as a child, I have dear friends I’ve known since childhood. I have dear friends from college. I have dear friends from different stages of my adult life. God continually shows me His love for me through my friends, and I cannot imagine doing life without them.
We pray for each other. We hurt for each other. We rejoice with one another. We encourage each other. And when necessary, we speak hard truths to each other. We laugh together until we cry, and sometimes we cry until we can once again laugh. We treasure whatever moments we can get together.
Connections equal community. And God created us to be part of a caring community.
Lately I’ve felt the Lord encouraging me to reach out more to the people He’s put in my life. But I also sense Him urging me branch out to make new connections. True, it takes time and effort to remain connected with people. But people matter to God. Just as my friends pour out God’s heart into my life, I can do the same for them and for others He puts on my path.
That’s because His love is an infinite resource. Our time may be limited, but we can redeem whatever time we have by doing His works, sharing His truth and demonstrating His love. It can be an act as simple as a smile, a hug, an offer to help someone you see struggling (think a homeless person, senior citizen or young mom), or praying with a stranger whose eyes can’t hide the pain.
Recently I shared a brief testimony on the Facebook page for a high school reunion I’ll be unable to attend. Honestly, I expected my story of God’s redemption to be taken down once the administrator saw it. Imagine my surprise when classmate after classmate commented about their salvation experiences! Now I find myself rekindling friendships with people I knew decades earlier. Is my circle too broad? Is God’s heart too small?
The same day a reader reached out to me via email. It turns out she and I have served children in the same community through GraceWorks Alaska, and we live in adjacent ZIP codes. I’m excited to connect with a sister in Christ who shares my heart for reaching the people of Alaska and who knows some of the people I know there.
I realize I can’t fully invest all the time in every relationship I have, but I can try, somehow, to work to make each person’s life a little better as the result of my being in it. It may be for a moment, for a season or for a lifetime. Only God knows. All I know is that with each passing day, the time becomes shorter, and those connections become more vital. Intentionally make and maintain connections, and make them count for His glory.