Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Distant Connections

     There is a faded blue barn board cabinet standing in our dining room that holds a sentimental collection of odds and ends.  The only value it has is the graceful significance that we've attached to it as symbolic reminders of the loves in our lives we've lost tangible connections with.  The door is cleverly constructed from an old single-paned window that I like to think of as a transparent shield keeping its glassy inhabitants safe from swinging labrador tails and inquisitive young explorers.  It also strikes me as a crude looking glass that lets light shine across memories, obstacles in love we've overcome, and life lessons from people we learned to be grateful for because, in one way our another, they solidified our connections with each other and God.  Together we've felt our share of splinters wedged into our hearts and have also removed a fair share of them from curious fingers roaming across the rough surface of that cabinet. 
     Connections.  We need them.  We seek to protect and maintain our relationships with each other. Who we are is woven into a relational pattern with others before we are born .

 ~For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. ~
Psalm 139:13
     God weaves us together as a connected group of people to hem us in, keep us from flying away in stormy winds, and provide shelter for us.  He does not intend for us to make it on our own and He understands our relational human hearts are vulnerable.  He also knows they can start to unravel or come apart at the seams when our connections are severed.  Have you ever felt that way?  I have.  I've felt the splinters of loss wedge themselves so deep into the vulnerable softness of my heart that I desperately cried out against it.  There have been moments I struggled and wrestled with the age old question of "WHY?" through hot stormy tears.  Some of the painful disconnections I had to accept left me feeling like the knitting of myself was unraveling in multiple directions all at once.  Recently I had a season of life that asked me to cross over the territory of some scarred over wounds I did not want to look at again.  However when I stopped arguing with God about it and paused long enough to listen, I could hear Him whispering to my heart, "Let me be your connection."  I am also certain because He knew me, He planned ahead for it by blessing me with some strong comforting allies who knew how to hold onto me when I was sitting in the middle of an emotional wipe-out.  On the other side of that storm, I've been able to reflect upon what I was being asked to learn.

     When we find ourselves stranded in hopeless moments brought on by the loss of our tangible connections with loved ones, He hurts for us and with us.  He wants us to let Him get close enough to remove splinters, wipe tears, and breath in new life.  All He needs us to do is ASK for help.  When the ax of time and distance expertly tries to sever our connections, His promise of eternal life stands the test of time and holds us together.  He reminds us that everything and everyone we have to let go of and commit to His care for a season will be kept safe.

~For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruler, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.~
Romans 8:38
    I wrote Distant Connections as a sort of love song and reminder that no matter how many connects or disconnects I am asked to endure, God alone is the true source of everything I need.  It was a cry and a prayer asking Him to be there for me through it all no matter who comes in and out of my life.  I felt it expressed the needs and empty places we feel inside ourselves and how we all want to be loved.   I needed to reconnect with the fact that even though human connections are an essential part of God's design for my life, He is the center cord holding it all together.  He patiently reminded me that no one can or should take the place of my relationship with Him.  I also was reminded that He alone is able to weave all of our frayed, unraveled, and severed connections back together for us even if those connections feel hopelessly distant.  There is peace in the knowledge that there is still beauty on the other side of what we cannot see through the looking glass.  God will keep our fragile connections safe even when we can't seem to get beyond the splintery roughness of life.

 Distant Connections

When joyful
Flaming hearts dance
Leaping from grounded shells
Soaring above thinning clouds,

Release them.

When sorrowful
Streaming eyes drain
Flowing from compressed hearts
Coursing into oceanic spaces,

Open floodgates.

When grateful
Teeming cells overflow
Washing through every channel
Rippling blessings outward,

Return them.

When seeking
fevered dreams venture
Resounding against inner shadows
Widening reduced perspectives,

Join the hunt.

When productive
Thirsting hands weave
Connecting loosened fibers
Yielding abundant harvests,

Create more. 

When weary
Wavering souls fight
Pressing into dreary minds
Claiming space to dwell,

Fight for them. 

When silent
Torrential words cease
Calming turbulent cores
Delivering tranquil times,

Recharge again.

When afraid
Wayward feet slip
Unsettling precarious beams
Teetering on fragile lines,

Hold fast.

When broken
Heaving chests cave
Starving life from burdened lungs
Smothering raging fires,

Breathe in. 

When triumphant
Ringing voices clear
Freeing prisoned ears
Harmonizing predestined tunes,

Sing with them.

Shaunda M. Eck 


  1. Amazing... You are such a strong christian woman!! And God has blessed you with such a gift here... I may say it everytime u write something, but its because I see the beauty and grace in it all. LOVE YA!!!

    1. Thank you dear friend. Thank you for your kind words and loving friendship. We are blessed to have your beautiful family as a part of our life!