I was moved the other night to go back and have a look at Larry Crabb’s excellent book, Connecting. This is the book that had the potential to cost Crabb his career as a counselor. In it, he talks about the power of emotional healing that takes place when people relate to each other as Christ relates to us. And the best place for this to happen is in safe community with other like-minded people. The counseling relationship, while extremely valuable, cannot substitute for a community of people loving each other and speaking into each other’s lives.
The reason I mention this is because I was with a group of friends the other night, and as we shared deep parts of our lives, I came to see how much I was able to relate to particular aspects of what they were sharing. Why is it that just one small sentence that someone shares about their life can stay with us for years? When I have listened to some sermons over the years, there is often one line that will stay with me, that will resonate with me, even though I couldn’t tell you what the subject of the sermon was.
The reason that such relating touches us so deeply is because we connect; we relate, we nod with a knowing when we hear what that person is saying. We can say “that’s exactly my experience”. That’s why Jesus told stories of everyday life to explain the kingdom of God. He never actually defined what the kingdom is, he just always said “it is like…”.
Connecting is the essence of life. When we connect with someone, or something that someone says, we know we have touched something of what life is really all about; something that goes deeper than all the everyday stuff that we think is hugely important. I think I might go back and read through Crabb’s book again. I suspect there will be a few lines that stay with me for years.