longing for intimacy

All it was was the simple question of a friend, “How are you? You’ve been on my heart. What’s God been speaking to you these days?” that triggered a multitude of emotions and a search to the core of my being.

I received this question right after reading an article titled, “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk,” by Sherry Turkle, who in her article explores the question, “What has happened to face-to-face conversation in a world where so many people say they would rather text than talk?”

While the following statistic she shared in her article shocked me, I found myself agreeing with it’s rawness.

In 2010, a team at the University of Michigan led by the psychologist Sara Konrath found a 40 percent decline in empathy among college students.

em·pa·thy 
empəTHē/ noun
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
I think we all can think of a time when you were with one other person and they were on their phone for 99% of the conversation. I know I’m guilty of this. But reflect on how this made you feel. Did you feel heard? Did you feel known? Were you able to enter into their pain, their joys, their hopes and dreams?

Turkle suggests that, “across generations, technology is implicated in this assault on empathy. We’ve gotten used to being connected all the time, but we have found ways around conversation — at least from conversation that is open-ended and spontaneous, in which we play with ideas and allow ourselves to be fully present and vulnerable. But it is in this type of conversation — where we learn to make eye contact, to become aware of another person’s posture and tone, to comfort one another and respectfully challenge one another — that empathy and intimacy flourish. In these conversations, we learn who we are.”

I find this statement to incredibly validating to the lack of intimacy I feel in my own life. Jesus and I are in at an interesting place in our relationship right now. I’m finding that I have more questions than answers right now. I’m finding my eyes are being opened more and more to the hypocrisy that is in me and also in those around me. I’m finding myself longing for intimacy. For someone to show interest in knowing me. Not just how my day went or what my plans are for next year.

But here’s the irony, just when I think I’ve found that intimacy with another human being I realize there is still an emptiness inside of me that I believe Jesus wants to fill.

The same Jesus that fed the five thousand, healed the blind beggar and walked on water wants to know me. He longs to fill me with the love that no other human being can fill. He wants to find me in the solitude.

Turkle also believes in the power of solitude. She states, “in solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation with something to say that is authentic, ours. If we can’t gather ourselves, we can’t recognize other people for who they are. If we are not content to be alone, we turn others into the people we need them to be. If we don’t know how to be alone, we’ll only know how to be lonely.”

Jesus is okay with uncomfortable. He’s okay with your brokenness. He knows empathy better than anyone else. Like the lyrics below say, He invites us to come as we are.

“Come As You Are” by Crowder

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

This intimacy, this feeling like we are OKAY despite the brokenness, the doubt, the questions, the uncertainty, the anger, the hurt, the disconnection I believe is truly found through the love, acceptance, freedom and intimacy Jesus offers us.

We do have a choice. We can choose to seek that love and affirmation out in another human being. Trust me when I say that I’m not hear to say that I haven’t choosen that choice time and time again. But I believe we will never fully be cured of this longing for intimacy until we accept the invitation that Jesus extends to us to not just be full but to overflow.

So may you seek out those intimate conversations and not settle for what I call “going through the motions” conversations. Even though you may feel like you are the only one who longs for that deeper connection, that intimacy, the reality is, we all are.

I will end with the words of one of my favorite human beings.

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” –Brené Brown

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s