Friday, May 7, 2010

"So Far Away"

I've always liked Carol King's song, "So Far Away."

"So far away . . . doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore . . . it would be so good to see your face at my door . . . but, it doesn't help to know that you're so far away."

I've learned something about being "far away" since my daughter got on a plane to South Africa on January 17 of this year. And, well, I haven't seen Lisa - except by "Skype" a couple of times since then. We communicate through email, I get to read her blog, and every once in a while a short phone conversation. I also hear through my wife, Sue, of any communication with Lisa.

It's got me thinking about "distance" and "closeness," because even as my daughter is very, very far away in Capetown, South Africa, I continue to feel very close to her.

One night when I was particularly worried about Lisa, I was praying and something came over me. It was this overwhelming sense that our closeness is in God, and that though I might be a long way away from my daughter, and she might be a long way away from me, God is near to both of us, and so we are near to each other in this mystery of God's presence. And, I felt at peace and fell asleep.

Some words from 1 John come to me now: "God is love. Those who love abide in God, and God abides in them."

I think this is what it is like with those we have come to love most deeply in life. I have experienced this with my family members. Love and faith are the same thing. They really are. We love and so we hope; we love and so we believe; we love and so we endure; we love because God first loved us . . . through some people who first loved us. And, the love we come to experience most deeply with a few people is a well-spring of living water that teaches us how to love and be loved by all kinds of other people.

"God is love. Those who love abide in God, and God abides in them."