Sunday, November 1, 2009

Days 31 & 32

I've just finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me. I can really relate to this story. Denver is a homeless black man who grew up picking cotton and have nothing of his own. Deborah is the woman who met him at a homeless mission and was determined to reach him for Christ. Ron, Deborah's husband, is a wealthy art dealer and this entire book is written from both Ron and Denver's perspective of the events that happened and how they developed such a close relationship.

It's really hard for me to comment on the book in depth as I don't want this to be a book review. But for those who like faith building, uplifting stories it's well worth the read.

My purpose in mentioning this book is to talk about Denver and how I related to him. Denver has been on the streets a long time. He's seen a lot of vile and ugly things. He's definitely distrusting of people wanting to help him or just love him. In one part of the book he shares the thought that he's worried about being caught and released. Basically this means that he Ron told him he wanted to be his friend, he didn't want to trust that and become his friend and then later have Ron "release' him.

I wonder how often that happens to us. I know it happens to me a lot. I want relationships, yet I fear them. Relationships - in-depth relationships - really terrify me. If the relationship ends, I tend to worry it was my fault or they were overwhelmed by my past or by who I am today. And I am a fairly social person on the outside so most people might not even realize that I have this fear. But it's a very controlled social personality. My hubby says he can see when I put up the walls. I am working on keeping them down but it's hard. It's why I tend to keep my past hidden in the dark thinking there is no way people would stick around if they really knew who I had been.

When I give into that fear I realize my priorities aren't in order. If I focus on developing my relationship with God first - the rest seems to come together. When I work at relationships with out working on my ultimate relationship at first, it will always fall apart at the seams.

We are meant to be relational. God called us into a relationship with Him through His Son. And He has called us to be in relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The scripture that most quickly comes to my mind when I think of relationships is Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV). Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

This scripture can be interpreted in many ways, but in this case I like to see it as meaning God, Me, and my Husband, or God, Me, and My Daughters or God, Me, and My Sister or God, Me, and My Mother or God, Me and A Friend. If He is interwoven into our relationships - it will not be broken.

Just right before that verse is another even more important set of verse. It says: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)

Together we work - together we struggle - together we rejoice - together we live. We are meant to be relational.

God has definitely been restoring relationships in my life and bringing me to new relationships. I do still find myself fearful, but today am more hopeful than afraid. I am hopeful that something long-lasting will be birthed. Being able to experience Godly relationships is truly a gift from God.

We are not all the same in our differences. Our differences can set us apart if we let them. But I don't believe that is God's plan. Our differences are circumstantial. I think our similarities are more important. They are bred in our spirits and our souls. We are all children of the Living God. He died for us ALL while we were still sinners. We all yearn for His Touch - for His love. Those similarities are far greater than any differences our various lives have experienced.

Today's Reflection: Thank You Lord for the many relationships You have given me. I am alone in a sense in that I need You and You alone to fulfill me. But in healthy Godly relationships You are right there at work developing us and showing us how to live life together. How to serve You together. How to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ together. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Life is a precious gift. Every moment I have on this earth I praise You for. I praise You for the Holy Spirit that abides within me and is healing my entire being. I thank You for the relationships You have given me. Help me be a good steward of these relationships - keeping the focus on you. All good things are a gift from You Lord. Thank you for showing me the beauty in relationships and how they are part of Your plan for me.


Kathy November 1, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

Almost done with this book too... what a great story!

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