My third visit to the Old Log Theater’s showing of “How I Became a Pirate” took place on the last day of the play. I’d taken two trips with other grandchildren and just squeezed in my two granddaughters for the last show. From the vantage point of seeing it three times, I could tell that the actors were pulling out all the stops on the last run. They were simply enjoying the play itself, each other, and the way the children were so thoroughly following along. I hoped that they had a good party planned for after the play. I hoped they would continue to find joy in each other.
The irony of social media is that while we may have thousands of Facebook friends, we may feel very much alone. To be touched, to be heard, to have face to face conversation . . . reaches our hearts in a way that social media cannot.
The apostle Paul would write about this need to be in another presence, knowing that he would both be encouraged and able to be an encourager. To his young friend Timothy he writes, “I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.” II Timothy 1:4
Laughter and joy flow from in-person encounters. The gift of community is one that God blesses us with. We need each other. We cannot live as completely independent people in this world. We are interconnected and interdependent upon each other. It is one of the reasons why I love the community of the church with all the opportunities to be fellowship with others. Its why those family gatherings with people we love and care about brings us joy. It’s why we create reunions of old friends. There is something in us that needs the connection, and to be reminded that we have been given others to journey with. We have been given people who, having seen us at our worst, love us anyway. If there is some old friend in your life you’ve been thinking about, it just might be a good time to get together, to laugh and to find joy in each other.