Friday, May 09, 2014
The quality of our relationships, to a large extent, determines the quality of our lives.
I’ve discovered that it’s not just the quantity of our relationships, but also their quality that counts.
It’s not just how many people we know, how many people we say "hi" to each day. Rather, it’s letting other people really know us. Relationships are most nurturing when we take the time to form that kind of bond.
The quality of our relationships, to a large extent, determines the quality of our lives. The more challenges we face, the more we need other people. One person in a crisis is a tragedy. Two people in a crisis constitute a support group.
A sense of belonging makes people feel cared for, loved, and valued. It provides social comfort and a sense of control throughout life’s unexpected twists and turns.
Todd Meyer’s family became his support group when he underwent a difficult time in his life—cancer. “Before I was diagnosed,” he says, “when the doctor told me, ‘It looks like lymphoma and we need to do some lab tests to find out for sure,’ I was in sort of a state of shock. Because here I’m working at the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute for Florida Hospital doing cancer research, and I’m supposed to be safe from this stuff, you know. But it just doesn’t work that way.
“When I told my family that my doctor was talking to me about lymphoma,” Todd continues, "it was difficult, although everybody was very supportive. No one took the attitude that this was the end. Instead, people rallied around me and tried to offer support whenever they could. It is very important for family to be involved in healing. We sometimes don’t realize it, but we’re affected by the people around us."
When family and friends pull together for the ones they love, something remarkable occurs. Grace happens. Healing takes place. It may not always be a physical healing—it may be just emotional or spiritual. But it’s healing nevertheless.
I think of an unconscious mother in critical care and not expected to survive. As her children gathered around her, they shared a lot of remorse. “If only I had spent more time with Mom,” her youngest son kept saying. “If I just hadn’t run away from home...I hurt her so badly.”
One by one around the group each expressed their regret about things they wished they had said to their mother.
As the group prayed together, they asked God to intervene in the situation. Then a miracle occurred. For a short while the mother regained consciousness, and the whole family enjoyed a wonderful time of reconciliation. Everyone said what he or she needed to. The mother brightened up for a considerable period of time, then slipped back into unconsciousness.
Shortly thereafter she passed away. Yet she did so with a sense of peace and joy that she hadn't known before. Though the mother did not experience physical healing, her heart and those of her children had experienced emotional healing.
Just as this family found healing in unity, God desires you and me to experience unity with those around us. He wants us not only to be reconciled to Him, but to one another.