Up Close and Personal

I’m finally holding our fluffy furball…and I’m “in love”.  We now have our new puppy “in person”.  We’ve anticipated this new adventure for a while.  The little guy is now no longer an idea or a plan.  Though I had received internet pictures and a bit of information about him ( as well as a photo my husband texted me),  I’m no longer just connected via cyberspace.  I’m grateful for that.  Technology always falls short when relationships are involved, as there is no substitute for being together.   I needed to see the twinkle in his eyes, smell his puppy breath, feel his nibbling on my nose, and participate in the sacrifice of taking him out at 3am…to really feel connected.  Suffice it to say, I’m connected.

How much more important it is to have our “human connections” up close and personal.  There truly is no substitute for “being there”.  While I am grateful for the many tools that make some kind of connection to people possible,  I have come to realize that they can never substitute for a personal touch, a hug, looking someone in the eyes, hearing their words or sighs and seeing their expressions.  There is no substitute for holding hands in prayer around a dinner table, expressing our thoughts to a listening ear, being a listening ear to hear someone else’s concerns, reading and studying the Bible together, praying together, sharing appreciation, and talking across a table to resolve any unresolved issues.  These take up close and personal interaction.  While an e-mail can be quickly sent, it is often difficult to know the heart that is behind it.  Texts r snt almost w/o thot. (sic)

God knew we needed “up close and personal”.  Otherwise, we just have “religion” and fail to understand what He is all about.  What an amazing, unthinkable expression of love God has given us  in Jesus, who left heaven and came to live and be with us.

John 1:14

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 John 4:9

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

These scriptures truly amaze me.  I so desperately need this kind of love, so I can better understand God and His will for my life.  Because he came here “up close and personal”, I can see what he did, what he said, how he prayed, how he lived, and how he died.

1 Peter 2:21

    To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

And though His physical presence in this world was for a mere 33 years, it has impacted me forever.  Now, it is still very real. I can feel and know His presence in my life.

While I hope the little personal stories  I share can help the scriptures come alive, the personal stories are just that…personal stories.  The scriptures here are really quite profound.  As I read this next scripture, I was reminded again of the intense privilege and responsibility that goes into a relationship with God, and so deeply appreciative for God’s “up close and personal” love.

John 14:15-21

    “If you love me, you will obey what I command. [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. [18] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [19] Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. [20] On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. [21] Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Yes, I’m connected to Denver, and I already love him.  However, there is nothing comparable to having God’s presence, “up close and personal” in my life.

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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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