There’s something to be said about a face to face meeting, especially when it comes to friends. It’s nice to get a phone call, or an email or a letter but there’s nothing like seeing someone in person. I had the pleasure recently of a visit from an old friend. Although we keep in touch we figured out that it had been two years since we had been together in person. Even though our visit unfortunately could only be for an hour, this brief encounter was a gift and a bright spot to my day.
We quickly tried to run through updates, answer questions, share stories and pictures, and laugh. Priceless was our “hello” and “good-bye” hugs. She left me refreshed and blessed, feeling thankful for having such a good friend in my life, one where we can easily pick up where we left off the last time. I also was left feeling challenged to make the most of every encounter after hearing some of her stories.
The following day I had the pleasure of getting together with three other women from my graduate school cohort. We were all part of a pilot program for career changers who had not been in college for quite some time. It had been a difficult 18 months and we all clung to each other as we navigated our way through. That program ended almost two years ago and from time to time we get together. We email occasionally but seeing each other in person is different, there’s more of a connection and bonding. I had not seen them since before my cancer diagnosis and when we met for coffee one of the gals had a dozen roses for me! It is so good to connect once in a while with people that you don’t want to lose in your life. They have played a significant part of your past and face to face is a must.
During my break from work this week I had yet another opportunity to meet with another friend I had not seen in quite a while. She treated me to lunch and we sat there until they were almost getting ready for the dinner crowd! It was great to get caught up and share things with someone with a kindred spirit and be encouraged and refreshed. Especially touching (and a little humorous) was when she shared that she prays for me daily when she is in the shower as part of her “routine.” What a gift to a friend! Again I was challenged in different areas and believe that God speaks through others to us.
I am looking forward to our annual women’s retreat next month. I always enjoy the teaching sessions but just as rewarding is being able to spend time with women I love. Sure, I “see” most of them on a weekly basis but don’t really get the opportunity to spend time with them and catch up on anything. This will be quality “face to face”.
There’s only one person that I am aware of that had a “face to face” experience with God. Moses was allowed this privilege. Exodus 33:11 says, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (NIV) Wow! I think this might have been just a little bit scary for Moses. On the other hand, get ready because one day WE will all get this chance; “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole,” Matthew 24:30-31 (The Message).
In 1 Corinthians 13:12 it says, “Now we see only a dim likeness of things. It is as if we were seeing them in a mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely.” (NIV) We’ll get all our questions answered.
Like the apostle John, although I write to you with “pen and ink” in my blog, I look forward to the times when I can see you, my readers, face to face! 2 John 1:12 says, “Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.” (NASB)
As we celebrate this holy week of Easter, remember what your best friend did for you, dying in your place for your sins so that you could spend eternity with Him. Friendships are truly a blessing, but the relationship you have with Jesus should be golden.
One of my favorite songs about the return of Jesus, being able to finally see Him face to face, is “We shall behold Him” by Sandi Patty. Here it is with a video portraying what this meeting may just look like. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dadf7JHQmuw