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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Long Distance Love

"I don't want to go without Your touch
without Your love filling me like an ocean ..."
~ Avalon, from "I Don't Want to Go" (Full lyrics below)

Long Distance Love

And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, 'May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.' "
~ 1 Samuel 20:41-42 (NKJV)

I read a piece yesterday by Billy Coffey, titled "Love Still Holds On," about a long distance romance in the life of his work acquaintance.

It called sharply to mind how my own marriage began. In the days before unlimited minutes, John and I ran up monthly phone bills which ran over $200 in '89 dollars. We spent enough on airline tickets that we might have received stock rather than frequent flier miles. I'd become certain within weeks of meeting him that this was the man I'd one day marry, so the differences of miles and time zones were trivial deterrents to long distance love.

When I moved to Michigan in 1990, lovesickness obscured thoughts of what it meant to leave behind family. Within a short time I came to appreciate the bonds with my siblings in a way I might have never otherwise understood. We do not simply share the DNA of common parents, but the souls of common experience. We know one another in ways even spouses will not. Long distance love became multiplied exponentially in my life with the births of our own children—who can seem more like siblings than cousins.

Facebook has been a Godsend. After nearly two decades mostly away from family members, I'm again a part of their daily lives, their laughs and foibles, their joys and sorrows and wit. A face on the computer screen can never be the same as kissing their cheeks and hugging their necks, but it has closed the gap of time zones and miles with the cost of mere minutes.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
~ Psalms 34:17-18 (NKJV)

This month I've published pieces on suffering and how Christians should treat homosexuals, on the heels of my own stifling pain and months of intense stress. I've learned things in the last year that could fill a book, a number of which have appeared on the pages here. Of all the things suffering has taught me, one stands out.

Relationship with our God is anything but long distance love.

I'd known that. His Spirit lives in me as an abiding presence I never cease to feel. His whispers assure me of His proximity. I wrote an entire novel with a thread running through it that the Lord is near.

But the inability to see my Father's face, kiss my Savior's scarred feet, or touch their Spirit's embrace made my Lord seem like a God too far. It can bring on separation anxiety to rival any infant's with its mother. It can make me long for Heaven with a pain that death cannot possibly match with its own grip, but only release with its interruption of my tears.

I've lately come to know how very near my God is, and that He is very closest when our hearts are broken and we offer them to Him.

My Lord and my God, Your love is higher, wider, longer and deeper than the deepest pain we might know. Thank You for giving us a taste of Your love now, as assurance and hope of the love we shall know.

You changed my world
When You came to me
You drove a passion
In my soul down deep
Lord, to follow You in everything

I don't want to go somewhere
If I know that You're not there
'Cause I know that me without You is a lie
And I don't want to walk that road
Be a million miles from home
'Cause my heart needs to be where You are
So I don't want to go

So come whatever
I'll stick with You
I'll walk, You'll lead me
Call me crazy or a fool
For forever I promise you that...

I don't want to go somewhere
If I know that You're not there
'Cause I know that me without You is a lie
And I don't want to walk that road
Be a million miles from home
'Cause my heart needs to be where You are
So I don't want to go
Without Your touch
Without Your love
Filling me like an ocean
For Your grace is enough
Enough for me
To never want to go somewhere
If I know that You're not there

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Lyrics "I Don't Want to Go" by Avalon, © 2001 Dried Rose Music / New Spring Puslishing


  1. The bond between siblings can be very special. My brother calls my 7 siblings and me the "8-pack."

  2. God meets us in our darkest hours, heart to heart. Praise You Father God.

  3., scripture, writing. Steve and I did the long distance thing. I've been thinking of you.

    And thank you for your post on homosexuality. I have three older sisters and the one I'm closest to came out three years ago. It was a huge shock, but I love her deeply and we remain close. I've been asked by a family member not to write about it on my blog (not my sister--she's okay for me to write about it), but as always...I feel safe here.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Just as we give more intense attention to our children when they are going through difficult times so does God. You are right ~ He stays very near when our hearts are broken.

  5. i'm the only one amongst my siblings that has anything whatsoever to do with computers...or even God for that matter. It hasn't mattered wether i lived within 50 miles, 2300 miles, or halfway around the world in regards to our relationship with one another. my oldest sister might be an exception. it's funny because knowing one another as children and knowing one another as adults is like two separate worlds.

    but in reality, we are in separate worlds. i'm the fruitcake that pursues a relationship with God. even death doesn't of a sibling doesn't bring us any closer to one another.

  6. Elizabeth ~ I'm smiling about that. My family has five girls. My brothers tend to be quiet, but we're the social ones. Our husbands are officially "The Brother-in-Laws Club." (They have secret decoder rings, too.)

    Denise ~ You and Eddie remain on my urgent needs prayer list. I ask the Lord to give you both His strength and presence.

    Wendy ~ The Lord will surely give you wisdom as you look to Him for the balancing act in the valued relationship with your sister. ♥ I'm blessed to know this is a safe place for you. :D

    Patty ~ I'd not thought to put this in the context of our children. How right you are! I appreciate your insight.

    Bud ~ The Lord gives each one of us different blessings, according to what He's doing in our lives. As I hear of your travels abroad, I'm likewise aware of how some of my family in Christ receives gifts the Lord has not accorded to me. May we each be grateful for His wisdom. May the nearness of His love be even more precious to us than any other of His gifts.

  7. Anne, I've discovered the same thing. When I'm broken and crushed to dust the Lord is so loud and present in my life. Of course He is always there but His presence is undeniable during those trying times. I feel sorry for those who don't know Him. How do they survive?

  8. Kelly ~ I'm trying to figure out how to closely feel His presence without pain. Even when I wasn't suffering ahead of time, feeling the Lord's presence without the ability to touch Him is plenty pain enough.

    T ~ I remember how I did it without Him. I didn't. I don't even know if it could really be called surviving. He loves to rescue us, don't you know.

  9. A beautiful post, Anne. Especially about the sibling bond.

    I wrote a blog post about this very topic last weekend. It posts tomorrow. Sometimes we do that, don't we? Seem to be "on the same wavelength". :) When you read it, know that I might have been writing it when you wrote this one. Now, wouldn't that be something... :)

  10. Gwen dearest, I've no doubt the Lord has us operating on the same wavelength at times—to use us to amplify each other?


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