HOW TO PRETEND SOMEONE ELSE DOESN’T EXIST
My son Josh and I were in Target recently and he spotted one of his teachers down the aisle.
“Let’s get out of here fast, dad,” he said.
I laughed. It brought back my own memories of middle school. It wasn’t my best time. I was struggling with everything, and a teacher was the last person I wanted to see outside of the school walls. More accurately, I was probably the last person they wanted to see.
But Josh is different.
He is doing really well in school and likes this particular teacher. So, Josh, why are we high-tailing it out of here again?
“I dunno,” he said.
Recently I was at a coffee shop and someone I know was sitting at the next table. I don’t know him extremely well, but enough to say “Hi!” do a fist pound and share a laugh. I’m positive he saw me. I was talking in my super loud announcer voice to one of the employees, so I’m pretty sure everyone in the place knew I was there. We sat, near each other, for over an hour and neither of us said a word to the other. Eventually, he got up and left. We put on a clinic on how to pretend the other person doesn’t exist.
OK, big pause… What’s that about?
Aren’t we all dying for connection and community with other people? Why do we shy away from it? I really like this guy and I’m pretty sure he likes me too. I’m sure God has wired me to not live in isolation. Why, then, do I sometimes prefer to live that way?
Jesus makes it so clear that we are made for relationship. Even God, three-in-one Father/Son/Spirit, is a picture of relationship. We’re made in that image.
“No experience is an experience in isolation,” says Erwin McManus in The Artisan Soul. Are we failing to experience life because we don’t allow ourselves to let others in to it? What is it in you that is blocking you from experiencing life in community like God designed?
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