This week I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about long-distance friendships. I have listened in frustration to voicemail messages from calls that I have missed from Kristina in London, spent time with patchy cell phone coverage catching up with Carol in Little Rock, hugged the necks of the Wiley's who are briefly home from Russia, and sat with Daniel & Laura to hear about their plans to move to the middle east. All of these factors have made me a little sad, bittersweet at best, over the many miles that separate me from the people I love.
As I was driving the long road home from Clarksville the other afternoon, I was having a bit of a conversation with the Lord about the way he keeps sending people far away. The main gist of the conversation was me saying "I wish I could just gather all the people I love into one place." After several minutes of these kinds of thoughts, a new thought popped into my head (that I'm pretty sure was from God), which was: "that's what heaven's for." I started thinking about all the people whose lives would not be under the influence of my wonderful friends if those friends lived here, in NWA, with me. Then I started thinking about all the people that God has brought into my life for me to encourage and pour into (and be encouraged by) whom I would probably have no time for if all of my far-away friends lived here. I strongly felt the Holy Spirit reminding me that now isn't the right time to have all my loved ones gathered together, but also that that time is coming. I'm so proud of all of my friends (both near and far) whose lives are committed to inviting more people to join us in the place where we'll all be together all of the time!