Longing to be Connected

by | Dec 16, 2011 | Five Minute Friday


It is the dark of night when the train huffs in on the tracks in the coal mining town in Colorado we call our temporary home. Pulls in to light up the interior of the car we sit in. They embark from the train, this young newlywed couple who’ve made the arduous journey from England to participate in an internship.

It was just the beginning of being connected.

Weekends seated on the canary yellow built-in benches of our rental, playing cards over the kitchen table amidst belly laughter, poking sarcasm, cheeky grins in the evenings. Pushing paper, making international calls, strategizing ministry events for Youth with a Mission during daylight hours.

All this time with so much hope ahead.  Life with questions only God can answer.  Circling conversations of inner struggles, family disappointments, hope for the future, how we would find money to feed ourselves, pay our rent.

We wave goodbye, move to Phoenix a short time later, put down roots in ministry, start a family. And at the same time in that tiny coal-mining town they expect a child too, move back to England.

Fifteen years later, standing in the hotel lobby of the Rembrandt, we embrace and it is if time stands still. With coats buttoned tight, cheeks lit up pink from what the wind kisses, umbrellas in tow, we walk the streets of London and pick up where we left off.

And the laughter is easy, honesty sure.  Because being connected in community isn’t the same thing as being social.  Community connects the heart in deep places that never forget.

Are you connected?   

Today, joining with Gypsy Mama for five minute friday. Writing from the heart for five minutes with the one word prompt Connected.


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  1. kd sullivan

    Community connects the heart in deep place they will never forget…beautiful! I’m tweeting this with a link to your blog…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh wow! Thanks so much. You are such an encouragement to me and always happy to see you in the comment box.

  2. Nita

    I love this line, “Community connects the heart in deep places that never forget.” Your story almost sounds like a movie. Maybe because I’ve been listening to Christmas movies all week, it’s just so sweet and uplifting. Thanks for sharing. Quilted blessings, Nita

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Been thinking a lot about the difference between being social with people and living in community. I guess it came down to that important truth. So glad to meet you here Nita!

  3. http://www.toodarnhappy.com

    How wonderful to have stay connected with your friends over the years. It is so easy to just let those relationships go. Your writing made me feel as though I was there with you. Thanks for sharing today.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We have moved lots, lived in different cities and states and I have learned over the years that though we may have lots of friendships, God connects you with just a few for a lifetime. There are some that just stick better than others!

  4. Felecia

    Shelly, you’re so right. The deep connection between each other and God is the tie that binds. Not social media and technology that keeps us connected with a wire or a cloud.
    Love your ‘snow’ too!
    In His Name,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Don’t you just love that snow?! It is so fun. I would have to say that I think both face to face and technological connections are valuable when it comes to cultivating friendships. I wouldn’t even be in touch with many people from my past if it weren’t for social media.

  5. Sabrina

    Thanks for your post. The roots that grow from a connection are strong and go down very deep. They can reach beyond time spans and are the perfect length for any distance. Social media is sometimes nourishment for these roots.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Social media has been a dream when it comes to re-kindling friendships and creating new ones.

  6. Jon Rashbrook

    Beautifully written Shelly.
    I remember years ago reading a book called something like ‘The happiest people on earth’. My memories of it are of the joy of GOOD community!
    I guess good community involves the freedom to know others whilst allowing yourself to be known too. On reflection I think this is easier when you don’t have a great deal and nor do your friends. Facades and self reliance seem to thwart the kind of deep friendship you refer to here and for which, we are so very grateful to have with you and H. Jon x

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jon, I agree with you. Sometimes all that we have can hinder what really matters. We are so grateful for that brief formational time together with you and Pip in Colorado. Great memories we will always treasure and hopefully more to make in the future.

  7. roseann elliott

    what a sweet…sweet story…connections of the Spirit is eternal…

  8. covered in His dust

    “Because being connected in community isn’t the same thing as being social. Community connects the heart in deep places that never forget.” – I LOVE that. We truly were created for community that creates deep relationships with others, not just surface social ties. Community means doing life together.

    Beautiful post! Have a wonderful Christmas!!


  9. Denise J. Hughes

    “…coats buttoned tight, cheeks lit up pink…”

    I love this visual. How beautiful that friendships, true connections of the heart, never fade, no matter many years may have passed.

    Lovely post.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Denise, lovely to hear from you. I never realized when I was young how important these kind of friendships would be as the years pass. They are truly one of God’s richest gifts. Merry Christmas!

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