The more successful they were, the further apart the were. This struck me as odd because we often think that the better we are at something the closer we are to achieving our goal.
As I watched this duo push one another further away, I started to see how they were filling that space between them with purpose and joy. The wider that gap between them came, the more space they had to fill with happiness, laughter, and love.
It seems the distance between them only made them closer.
I noticed this to be true about the relationship with my daughter who is away at college. Now that she is 123 miles away from home, we seem to talk more. And engage in one another's lives differently. I like to think she agrees that we have grown closer because the distance that separates us.
It's not easy being apart from those you love or desire to be around. I think we all discovered that during the height of the pandemic when we were isolating at home, or keeping our 6 feet of distance from one another. It's harder still when you want a hug but can't because of the distance.
At Anamesa, we are always looking for ways to be closer because we are far apart. But what if we started looking at the distance between us as nothing more than a bigger space to do the work of the church? Like casting a wider net to reach more people to love.
Many struggled with this when their churches went into lockdown. But they didn't have to. They just needed to rethink they way they do things by embracing that space instead of rejecting it.
While it seems counterintuitive for a church to be further apart than closer together, it makes sense to expand our viewpoint and widen the gap between our hearts so that more people can come discover God’s grace and glory.
Anamesa is more than just a space we occupy. It's a way to live into that space as a bridge between this world and the one to come.
I often use this example to explain it in simple terms. Let's say you see someone hungry, and you are moved to feed them. It could be a homeless woman whom you give money to, or a family down on their luck that you buy groceries for, or it could be a friend who's homesick that you prepare a meal for. That's Anamesa. Filling the space with love and joy by living out the gospel in real time.
Between the number twenty-three and twenty-four there was nervousness and fear of failing, or having to start over again. But there was also courage and commitment to try. For me, it's what happens in that space and to that space when we try to do something beyond standing there hoping for someone else to act.
I think what makes us stronger as a community and as a people isn’t our proximity but our willingness to walk together with the love of Christ, who brings us together as one body no matter how far we are apart.
I hope this helps you rethink the space you are in - physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”