I had coffee with a friend the other day who I hadn’t seen or talked to in just about four years. We only had a short amount of time to catch up because I had to get to work but we spent about 45 minutes mostly just looking at each other. I mean we talked and told each other what was new and what we were up to these days but more than anything, we looked at each other.
A couple weeks ago one of my friends shared this video on Facebook:
It’s a pretty neat social experiment and it had me in tears by the end. Eye contact is something that a lot of people avoid. It tends to make us uncomfortable. Our phones and gadgets are making the avoidance of eye contact easier and easier.
But in a world full of distractions, I want people to look me in the eyes. I want to maintain a vulnerability and an openness to genuine human connection. Don’t get me wrong, I see and know the great ways that technology can be used to connect us in ways that we’ve never been connected before. That doesn’t replace real, personal connection. I don’t want to grow numb to physical touch and face to face interaction.
I left that coffee date remembering the depth of relationship this friend and I had experienced, in what felt like our previous life. She is probably the person I have held the most uninterrupted eye contact with. Though we hadn’t explored the mental and emotional depths of relationship that I have with other people, there were physical boundaries of healthy, platonic intimacy that she and I had breached. That is an intimacy that I long for. Not because of singleness or some unmet need but because of connection that I was created for.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the experience of intimacy being confined to a marriage relationship is doing a disservice to both the church and the world. We need a shift. I don’t know when we lost sight of true community and relationship but we have got to rekindle the flame.
From what I can gather, we run from intimacy outside of marriage because of fear. We don’t want to cross lines. We don’t want to pervert things. We don’t want to do the messiness of relationship. THAT’S DUMB.
It is the lack of healthy love and relationship that pushes people to perversion. It is the inability to find emotional intimacy that causes people to exploit physical intimacy. We are all seeking that connection. We were made for that connection. So if we can’t find healthy ways to experience it, if there is no space created for genuine community, where are we to go? We go where we know we can find it.
I know that there are people out there who get it. I’ve met some of them and I’m so thankful. If that’s you, if any of what I’m rambling about resonates with you, please don’t be afraid to share it. The world needs to see the experience that you have. People need to know they’re not alone. I need to know I’m not crazy.