February 2024

Shared Life

We had come to the last destination, before home, of a seven-day road trip. Our mode of transportation was a Harley Davidson Dyna-Super Glide, replete with backpack and side saddles. That day we’d traveled more than 150 miles in near 100-degree weather, and we were more than ready to peel off our leather chaps, riding gloves and helmets. The inside of the lodge of the small lake resort was blessedly cool as we trudged to our room.

It might seem that we’d want nothing more than to stretch out on cool sheets and not move a muscle until sun-up, but it was our last evening before the final homeward stretch, and we felt compelled to make the most of it. So, we settled with cold water on faces and necks and headed out to see what this little gem of a place might offer. Walking down the hill, hand-in-hand, we discovered a mini-golf course and a row of shops. We shared a grin.

After playing a leisurely game of putt-putt (which he shamelessly won), we strolled along the sidewalk. One of the shops turned out to be an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Feeling likes kids, we chose large scoops of strawberry and chocolate on waffle cones and headed back outside licking furiously in a race to beat the effects of heat and humidity on the rapidly melting treats. I’m not sure we actually got more in our mouths than what ended up on our hands and clothes.

After well-deserved showers, we sat on the small balcony outside our room as the last of the daylight filtered through the trees. We talked softly about the memories we’d made and gave thanks for the gift of our companionship. A road trip on a motorcycle is not easy, not always comfortable, and not without challenges. But because we’d been together, because we had shared all the challenges as well as the delights, it had been absolutely perfect, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

That’s the beauty of friendship and living life together. It is a shared experience, from beginning to end. Jesus taught this community living to His disciples. “Come. Follow Me,” He said. And they did. They didn’t just listen to what He had to say, they lived with Him. They prepared and ate meals together. They found places to sleep together. They watched Him interact with people, and they heard Him pray. They witnessed His authenticity. They shared His life. And they were changed.

Dear One, do you experience life with Jesus as with a friend? Jesus said to His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15 NKJV) What wonderful things has He made known to you? I know in my own journey with Him, it is often in the hard and difficult places where He shares the sweetest secrets. These have become the treasures from which I share life with others. Whatever He has given you is now in your hand and in your heart to share.

Until next week, beloved, take His hand and share His life.

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