Larry Crabb's radical idea of what it means to go to church, part 2
We were designed to connect with others: Connecting is life. Loneliness is the ultimate horror. In connecting with God, we gain life. In connecting with others, we nourish and experience that life as we freely share it.
The story is told of a cancer patient who had a standing weekly appointment with his doctor for chemotherapy, a single injection that took a few seconds to administer. After each treatment, the patient would talk with his doctor for fifteen minutes. That fifteen minutes soon became the only time when he could speak about extremely painful matters to someone who understood and wouldn't retreat from the conversation.
Eventually, the patient began to suspect that the chemotherapy was no longer helping him and suggested to the oncologist that the treatments be stopped. The doctor immediately stiffened and said, "If you stop receiving chemotherapy, there is nothing more I can do for you."
The patient then decided to continue the weekly injections "in order to have those few moments of connection with his doctor."
The woman who told this story is a physician/counselor who added this postscript. This man's "oncologist was one of my patients. Week after week, from the depths of a chronic depression this physician would tell me that no one cared about him, he didn't matter to anyone, he was just another white coat in the hospital, a mortgage payment to his wife, a tuition check to his son."
Some people settle for too little connecting. Others decide there is none, at least not for them, and retreat to empty living.
We were fashioned by a God whose deepest joy is connection with himself, a God who created us to enjoy the pleasure he enjoys by connecting supremely with him but also with each other. To experience the joy of connection is life; to not experience it is death to our souls, death to our deepest desires, death to everything that makes us human. -- Connecting by Dr. Larry Crabb