When I hear from a friend it’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s a phone call just to say hello. Other times it’s a text thread weaving the details of our lives. Even a greeting card through snail mail is a rare but welcome sight. However, at some point, I want to hear a friend’s voice and see their face. It tells me the true cadence of their heart.
The details of our day or the issues of our lives are read quite differently than when we read them from a screen. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
The power of face to face time was seen in God’s friendship with Moses. Deuteronomy 34:10 states, “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.”
Moses is the man God entrusted to take on Egypt’s Pharaoh and then take God’s people to the edge of the Promised Land. The fact God knew Moses face to face is not at all surprising. Scripture assures us God knows every person completely (see Psalm 139). He knows our name, the number of hairs on our head and even our thoughts before we think them. This short list only scratches the surface of what He knows about you and me.
But Moses also sought to know God. I wonder how many secrets Moses and God shared on Mt. Sinai’s peaks? Did they wink at each other as they watched a boy scoop the last piece of manna? Possibly. When I’m with my friends, our shared sense of humor or our burdens are seen in what we say or don’t say.
Today we have endless options to stay in touch with our friends. Social media provides instant updates on everything from vacations to career moves. But…
Sharing information is not the same as having a conversation.
The closeness of a bond can begin to change when an emoticon is the most frequent face we see. If distance stands between us and our desire to meet-up with a friend, Skype and “apple” face time may be the best options available. And yet, there is nothing like true face time.
Romans 1:12, shares Apostle Paul’s anticipation of seeing his friends in Rome. He said, “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.”
Sharing encouragement is a special grace when I’m with a friend face to face (and yes, that does rhyme). Albeit, the technological limitations of their time left few fellowship options for Moses or Paul. But the desire to take their friendships deeper created the desire for in-person interaction. Because…
As we cherish our friendships more, there can be more transparency, more encouragement and more forgiveness between friends.
The warmth of a friendship can melt hindrances to transparency and bring healing to offenses. In person, my friends and I share the details of our lives beyond what a text or an email can handle. More accountability shows up. Bigger laughs often show up too. Advice and prayers may be offered. Tears may be shed. But by God’s grace, happy memories are made and the friendship grows deeper.
Are you overdue for a meet-up with a friend? Perhaps you are wanting to take a friendship from bud to bloom. If distance is a factor, for now the phone may have to do. However, I’m constantly thinking of ways to meet-up with my buds. I admit it. I’m a face-to-facer.
When our friendship maintenance is low, here’s some good news: Face to face time with a friend may offer us the encouragement we need to face life. If we could ask Moses or Paul, I believe they would tell us to rearrange the schedule. Get a sitter. Go on the road trip. As we invest in a friendship that matters to us, we can often see how much it matters to God. Now there’s hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” – Romans 1:12 NLT
Let's have a conversation! If you could meet-up with a friend(s) where would you go OR what would you do? Here's mine: I'd love to go on a spa-vacation with my friends! Now it's your turn. I look forward to hearing your meet-up ideas in the comment section below.