But there are some downfalls to having connections only through the internet. My computer has never laughed with me, had coffee with me, or hugged me; and we can still be lacking physical interaction.
There have been a few friends who stepped across that invisible barrier and we talk on the phone, have coffee now and then or even share conversation via skype. But I've found for the vast majority my connections can stay distant. Caregivers don't have the picture perfect lives and sometimes people really don't know how to make a difference, or they don't know what to do. So they keep their distance.
This morning I was reading through a few chapters in Genesis and reread a large portion of Joseph's story. I had to back up though because Judah kept popping up. He was the one who talked the other brothers into sparing Joseph's life and selling him into slavery instead. He also stepped up to protect Benjamin. Did you ever wonder how Joseph must have felt when he saw Judah take up for Benjamin? Judah was talked about a lot in these few chapters but he always seemed to be at a distance and never fully involved until it came down to life or death.
A few years (or decades) back, there was a popular song by Bette Midler, it was called "From a Distance" and a key phrase, and probably the only lyric I remember is God is watching - from a distance. That's what it seemed like Judah was doing - always involved but always staying away.
As a caregiver I've discovered there are some people who really care - but they prefer to not be up-close-and-personal. It's "safer" for them to stay somewhat disconnected from us; and the internet accommodates that real well. But God isn't that way. He is not just watching from a distance and trying to stay as connected as possible without investing Himself into the situation. He is not uncomfortable being around us. As a matter of fact, He wants to be with us; our lives are not too ugly for Him! Rather than watching from a distance, He is fully invested in walking it through with us.
Today I'm going to rejoice in the fact that God does not keep His distance. My thoughts will be on how He chooses to walk this tough road with us - rather than apart from us. I'll meditate on how He is fully vested in my life and is dedicated to helping me be whole - body, soul and spirit - even in a difficult situation. My goal for today is to open my eyes and look around to find Him. He's not watching from a distance, He is right here-right now and I will not hold Him at a distance. I will welcome Him into this crazy caregiver lifestyle with open arms. I will let Him be a willing participant today. Will you join me?