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Running from Intimacy

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We were in a room where, sobbing, my friend shared a secret – he’d been abused as a child. He had felt so scared and ashamed. The small group sat listening, and when he was finished, embraced him. Years later, the man has deep friendships that trace their origin to that room and that day and his…
By Seth Barnes

We were in a room where, sobbing, my friend shared a secret – he’d been abused as a child. He had felt so scared and ashamed. The small group sat listening, and when he was finished, embraced him.

Years later, the man has deep friendships that trace their origin to that room and that day and his place of vulnerability.

We all want deep connection – intimacy – but do we understand the path to it and its cost? There is no depth to love (or intimacy) without the potential for pain.

Intimacy requires vulnerability. You will never get to an intimate place if you don’t first venture to a vulnerable place. Jesus repeatedly showed this.

Vulnerability requires risk. You step into the place of potential pain knowing that you may hurt more a minute from now than you do right now.

Going willingly to a place of potential pain requires either emotional reserves or desperation.

How do we build emotional reserves? By embracing truth and connection. Perhaps it begins with the recognition that you were wrong.

But desperation is a place many of us live. Unable to endure the pain, we find ways to numb it. 

When the desperation rises beyond our ability to numb it, we find ourselves more willing to embrace truth and seek connection. And it’s at that point that many of us become willing to risk. Maybe we say, “Yes, I was wrong – I messed up when I did that, will you forgive me?”

The payoff is the potential for intimacy.

How many people are you deeply connected to? The average man in America has two friends, friends who may not guess at his inner desperation.

How many have you trusted with your pain? Hiding from or numbing the pain is natural, but running from intimacy is no way to live. Intimacy is what gives richness to life. 

Today is a good day to think about how to find the intimacy you were made for.

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