Buttered BreadI love the smell of fresh baked bread.  I like eating it even more.  Whether it comes from the oven, a bread machine, or a bakery, there is just something about fresh, warm bread with butter melting into the nooks and crannies.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Though I can remember the taste of fresh bread, my memory of bread does nothing to nourish me.  My tummy is still empty after a night’s rest.  If I look at Pinterest and read lots of bread recipes this morning, I won’t get filled up.  It takes real, physical, present bread to fill me up and to give me strength.

Like bread, I need to have real, physical, present friends to be filled up and made stronger.  There’s just something about looking into the eyes of a friend that opens my soul.  There is something about the gentle touch on the back of my hand that speaks reassurance and empathy.  Or the whisper of encouragement from behind just before I have to do something brave – close enough that my hair tickles my neck.  And the hugs – oh, the hugs of a treasured friend.  What is more restoring than being wrapped up in the strength of a good friend’s arms?

We were created for relationships in the flesh.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a blogger, right?  I definitely believe there is a place for e-visits and  iConversations.

We live in an amazing time in history where we can stay connected to people – even connect for the first time with people – who live on the other side of the world.  And as I have a dear friend about to make the leap to Japan for three years, I am ever so grateful for modern technology.

I just don’t think remote, electronic friendship is enough.  FaceTime is an awesome tool for keeping our kids connected to grandparents, aunts, and uncles and close friends.  But it doesn’t beat time spent face-to-face.

There are moments when someone sitting beside you with their arm around your shoulder is better than Skype.  Weeks (it could probably even be reckoned in months or years) of in-person time with my missionary friend has forged our hearts together.  Technology offers a way to strengthen the connection, but nothing will be better than sitting down beside her on a bench in a park with a steamy cup of hot chocolate when she and her family return.  My heart is breaking because I won’t see her again before she leaves…

God created man from real earth and gave man real flesh and breathed life into his real nostrils.  He took women from the warm flesh of a man and gave us life, too.  Adam and Eve saw each other with real eyes in a real garden.  And they walked with God in the cool of the day where real grass tickled their real feet.  Even when they really ate the very real and very forbidden fruit, God sought them out in the garden and met with them in person.  And when it came to saving me from my sin, God didn’t send an e-mail, he sent his Son.  Even today, he connects with me through his Spirit, not Skype.  There’s just something about in-person connection.

We were created for relationships in the flesh.

What about you?  Are you a little anemic in your friendships right now?  Is there any way to carve out a moment this week to spend it with a friend?

Is there someone you know who needs a feast of friendship?  Is there any way to connect in person with her in the next few days?  Maybe you could hand-deliver a loaf of fresh bread…

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Buttered Bread by jeffreyw (mmm…warm fresh bread w/butter Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons