Out of sight, out of mind…or is it worse than that?

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Out of sight, out of mind…or is it worse than that?

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Isn’t it true that when a good friend moves away or when they come for a visit, you apologize for not having stayed in better contact?  Then you promise to do better…

And you do…for awhile, then you fall right back into the same habits.  You get distracted.  Oh, you may think of that person when random events happen and it triggers a memory.  You might even mention them occasionally in prayer, but because you don’t see them on a consistent basis, you forget about your promise to actively be engaged in their life.

What happened?  We don’t like to hear this, but when all the layers are stripped away, it’s nothing more than pre-occupation with self. 

The Flemish language has just as many idiomatic expressions as the English language.  As a matter of fact, some of our English idioms have carried over into Flemish.  But one of the phrases we use to lighten our forgetfulness and pre-occupation with self is: “Out of sight, out of mind.”  This usually gets relegated to our forgetfulness to pay a bill or do something we’ve promised to do.  But the Flemish speaking people have a slightly more aggressive version of it:  “Out of sight, out of heart.”  Ouch !!!  That cuts deeper doesn’t it?  It crosses a bridge we don’t like to cross very often because it specially affects our relationship with others.

If you travel further into Friesland, the northern part of the Netherlands, the Frisians take that proverbial knife that’s already been inserted and they give it a quick little twist; the way they say it is: “Out of sight, out of life”.  That about sums it up, doesn’t it?  And the worst part about it, is that we can’t deny it’s true.

Galatians 6 talks about two different types of burdens:  there’s burdens that you alone have to carry, then there’s other burdens that others can help you carry.  Another way to look at it is: back-packing burdens vs. back-breaking burdens.  But how do we help ease the burdens of other people?  Obviously being there in person is part of that, but what happens when geographical distance enters the equation?  Well, for many of us (myself included) we allow friendships to devolve into:  “Out of sight, out of…..you fill in the blank.

Let me emphasize a truth that is simply not being verbalized enough: We are born needing help, we die needing help, and in-between we live with the illusion we don’t need help. Ecclesiastes 4:10.  So let’s make sure we stay connected, regardless of the number of miles in-between.  The task hasn’t changed.  We need each other. Social media has given us an unique opportunity to:

– Rank our relationships in the proper order

– Restore each other

– Rally each other

Read 1 Thess. 5:11, 14.  Let this encourage your hearts.