Full Body Contact

“I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink.  I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.”

3 John 13, 14

 I enjoy Facebook, but it really is a deceiving form of communication.  I don’t really know someone just because I know what their top five favorite songs of all time are.  That information does little good unless I know “why” they picked those songs.  Even then, what do I really know about someone.  Facebook, like Twitter and other on-line social networks are great for finding lost connections with people or getting information out to others, but it is a false basis for friendship.

My desire here is not to bash the new ‘social media’ as fun as that would be.  I don’t wish to be that hypocritical.  But I do want to say two things in regard to this passage.  First, there is just no substitute for real contact with each other.  We need to see each other in order to have the type of communication that our humaness requires.  We need to see, hear, touch, and even smell each other.  We need full body contact.  The reality is, we need to do a better job at really being with our small circle of friends instead of spending hours and hours each week communicating silly, mostly useless, information about what we are doing to our hundreds of ‘friends.’  The Apostle John recognized that his letter, as wonderful as it was, was not like seeing his friend “face to face.”

So, let me encourage you here.  Deepen your communication with people.  Spend the time necessary for that full body contact – the multi sensory contact you get from spending time “face to face.”  We are multi sensory communicators.  We speak with the tone of our voice.  We communicate with our mouths and our hands and our eyes and our facial features and body movements.  You cannot share each others’ pain on Facebook or MySpace.  You cannot experience the joy in another’s life with a ‘tweet.’  You need to be there.

I mentioned a second thing.  Well, here it is.  I just can’t wait to see Jesus face to face.  Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the blessing of his Holy Spirit uniting me with him in real fellowship.  Jesus is truly present with me.  But God has made me a man with eyes and ears and a nose and hands – a man who responds to physical stimuli.  Jesus also has a body like mine.  Jesus is God; but he is also a man.  I can’t wait to see Jesus.  I can’t wait to have him take his hand and touch my face to wipe away all of my tears.  I can’t wait to hug him – to have him hold me in his arms – to hold my flesh and blood body in his flesh and blood arms.

That is why he died you know – to make that possible.

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