In the midst of road trip errands (one week from today!), I had lunch yesterday with a darling friend whom the Lord plopped into my lap last year. We met every week for several months, then things started getting even crazier than normal in my world, and I had to stop the regularity of our meetings. What I thought would just be a month, or so, ended up with my not seeing her at all since January. As I’ve mentioned before, I have also been in this season of pulling away, and while I wasn’t intentionally pulling away from that relationship, my circumstances took over and became an easy hiding place.

After lunch, I marveled at how good and uplifted I felt. Certainly, we’ve sent texts, and left Facebook messages for each other, to stay in touch, but she has sparkly blue eyes that draw you in and make you feel safe in her presence. She has the gift, through excellent body language and listening skills, that makes you feel like you are the most important thing to her in that moment. She has a wonderful laugh. I’d sort of forgotten all these things until I saw her. While her written messages were filled with encouragement, that same encouragement took on skin and a heartbeat in her presence, giving it a depth and richness that not only uplifted, but inspired me, as well.

There was something else about this little meet up that brought me up short. Keep in mind that, even though we had ceased meeting in person regularly, I felt like I was fairly up-to-speed on the “big stuff” in her life…the stuff about which she’d asked for  prayer. The rest of the blanks seemed pretty filled-in through the aforementioned texts and social media. But when I asked her about one of her specific request areas, she hesitated a little, then said that she hadn’t told me a big part of the story that had unfolded in our time apart, because she just didn’t want to write it down. She preferred to wait until she could just say it face to face. Let me tell you that it was not just a small thing…it was a BIG DEAL by anyone’s standards.

Let me say, right here, that I love social media. In fact, you are likely reading this because of a link I posted somewhere. But yesterday’s get together was a giant reminder that through social media, we know about people ONLY WHAT THEY WANT US TO KNOW. You might be reading about someone’s favorite recipe, but have no idea that they just seasoned that casserole dish with their own salty tears. We’ve been given five senses with which to experience humanity. If you’re not regularly in front of that person, you’re not going to be able to gauge where they really are in their lives because you only have access to them through one sense. And if you can’t gauge it, you can’t completely be there for that person. It’s not a full picture of reality, and it’s not enough.

There is a Bible verse that goes like this:

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT

This verse is usually quoted to warn people from ceasing to meet together corporately, as a church. But remember that Christ’s body IS the church. I’ve forgotten that of late, and was reminded yesterday of the encouragement I’ve missed and the encouragement I’ve missed out on the chance to offer, plus one of the main reasons I think God has worked out this whole Girlfriend Adventure at all.

When we “cease meeting together, as some people do,” the free flow of encouragement stops.

Road travel gives you a window-seat view to many of life’s amazing sights, but when you go about it without other people, you miss out on one of the most precious and profound…you miss a glimpse of the very face of God.


Join me in climbing out of the sand and onto the road…beginning April 12th, follow along on the Great Girlfriend Adventure!