written by Jon Eshleman September 26, 2013.
Many days I find that I just don’t have any more room in my life for people. I simply cannot add one more relationship to my already busy, hurried, and fast-paced life. Relationships can vary in kind from person to person, and technically I have a technological relationship with a couple thousand people through social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (no, I don’t snap chat). I suppose there has come with this generation, and perhaps others, an expectation to have deep, authentic, intimate, genuine, ‘I’d-do-anything-for-you’ kind of relationships with a vast amount of people. Now, of course this is not at all possible. But, what is possible? What level of relationship are we expected to have with those who cross our path? Jesus seemed to be available to everyone who came across his path. I was thinking about some of Jesus’ words to us:
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
“You shall love your neighbor…”
“Love your enemies…”
“Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.”
“Love one another…”
There seems to be levels or circles of relationship when it comes to Jesus. What I mean by this, is if you study his life you can see that he had some men that he seemed to spend a great amount of time with on a consistent basis. These are men like Peter, James, & John. These three might have been closest to Jesus. Beyond them were the other nine original disciples, and beyond the other nine were the wives and women who were traveling and helping to support the ministry like Mary, Joanna, and Susanna. Then we have the 72 that he sent out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and to heal and cast out demons. Keep moving to outer circles and we pass through the more than 500 that he appeared to after the resurrection on out to the multitudes that would come to hear him preach or be healed by him. So let me get back to my point. Although there are levels or circles of relationship when it comes to Jesus, the quality with which he treated every individual was consistent. He loved them all. I may not be able to be everyone’s best friend or be able to give everyone equal amounts of time and attention. BUT, I am called to love everyone with the same love that Jesus loves with. There is something compelling about the love of Jesus. There is something satisfying about the love of Jesus. There is something hopeful about the love of Jesus. It seems to be ‘enough.’ So maybe it is less about creating space for others than it is about loving others in their space with the love of Jesus.