Face to Face

photo-1505535162959-9bbcb4ab22d6.jpeg

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 
1 Corinthians 13:12

 
We have a longing for face to face interactions, especially when we need to share feelings. Joy, sadness, comfort, and anger are expressions that are limited without facial contact. Funny admission…as a little girl, if I didn’t have a friend to cry with, I’d go straight to the mirror, and commiserate with myself! I don’t think I’m the only one to do that. Anyone else?
 
There’s something irreplaceable about face-to-face conversations. Technology has helped us reach across the miles to converse, even to “FaceTime”, but there’s nothing like sitting in the same room, on a comfy sofa, coffee in hand and having a conversation with a friend. I’m not really a phone person, and come to think of it, neither are some of my closest far-away friends and family members. But, oh, when we get in a room together… Hours can pass in what seems like minutes, as we pick up right where we left off.
 
God and Moses had this kind of relationship. 
 
Exodus 33:11 “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend…”
 
I write this a little teary-eyed, thinking of my recently vacated empty nest. Knowing this year would certainly bring about many changes for our family-- our two older boys and daughter-in-law set out to pursue their callings in other states and of course, our youngest was already three states away at college—I not only braced myself emotionally, but we re-prioritized some things financially and schedule-wise. Our  very active “We are the Champions” family group text (I know, original name) can only satisfy to an extent. I’ve got to see my (grown up) children, face to face.
 
A few weeks ago, I received news from a pastor in a persecuted region of the world. The church can no longer meet publicly, but they were able to get specially encrypted technology so they can play the pastor’s sermons and worship music on their smart phones. They “meet” at a big public park, and all the members listen to the “service” at the same time, although they look like they’re just walking/running/biking and picnicking. They could easily do the same at their individual homes, but they risk imprisonment and even their lives to see their church family members, face to face, as they worship.
 
We need each other. The writer of Hebrews knew this so well and wrote:
 
Hebrews 10:25 “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
 
I encourage you today, in whatever you’re facing, to pursue face to face relationships through small groups, that are strengthening you to be the woman/leader/mom/friend God has called you to be and above all else pursue those face to face moments with the Lord. He is a friend that is always available for cozy couch time that will fill your cup and fuel you to face your future.

Love,
Pastor Lori Champion