I had a bad experience with a friend in high school. We were close. We were really close. Then, I got hurt by this friend and I cried, and my blood boiled and I stopped talking to them. Then, I started talking ABOUT them. Finally, I couldn’t bear to hear their name mentioned. This friend has since reached out to me, and I’ve ignored those attempts. I rationalize it, because, I don’t want to be hurt again.
When people are close, and in one accord, they turn their toes toward each other, closing that gap. Those in agreement incline their heads toward one another and, when in an intimate conversation, hunch their shoulders in the others’ direction. These are immediacy cues.
Have you ever noticed that when people fight, they often turn their backs on one another and create a larger gap of space between them. The greatest distance between two people is the space created by lack of Grace.
I make close relationships long-distance relationships when I fail to extend that Grace. I damage intimacy with friends and family when I begin to avoid them in order to (as I justify it) “keep the peace.” When I make biting remarks behind their backs, I lengthen the distance. When I turn up my nose at the thought of spending time with them, I expand the gap.
for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. – Genesis 31:49
Putting too much distance between ourselves and others can make us lose sight of why God created us to be relational beings in the first place. I am convicted about the way I’ve shut down my friend’s attempts to reconcile. I’ve chosen NOT to forgive, not to repair and now, I’m choosing NOT to be in harmony.
Long-distance relationships rarely work out. It starts looking greener in pastures closer to home. It begins to be easier to live without that person in our lives. We start to sink them lower and lower on the priority list, or kick them off altogether.
We’re called to walk with one another and with God. Are you in an emotional long-distance relationship with others? Have you put distance between yourself and God?