When my kids were little they used to watch videos of Rob Evans “The Donut Man” singing “Life without Jesus is like a donut, ‘cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart.” You may have heard or perhaps even recited the God-shaped-hole cliché: In every human heart there is a God-shaped hole…
It’s true. That “something missing” is a friendship with our Creator.
But Frank Ferrari, who spoke at Ephrata Community Church last Sunday, had further insight into the fact that we are created for relationship. Consider pre-fallen Adam. He enjoyed a level of intimacy with God that we can only dream of—completely transparent, guiltless, fearless, open and audible communication, twenty-four hours a day.
AND YET! Look at what God said when he stepped back to examine his first human masterpiece—the man God would walk with from garden sunrise to sunset, enjoying endless conversation:
“This is so not cool! He is alone” (Gen. 2:18, my paraphrase).
So God made Adam a companion, because, as Ferrari explained, inside every human heart there is also a "human-shaped" hole. Jesus can’t fill that one. He left it up to us to fill in each other.
So. I call to mind the several Christians I have met along the way who attend the First United Church of Just Me and Jesus. Darling, you’re wrong. The only physical representation of Jesus we have on the earth at this time is the people that make up His Church—all believers. ("And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself." Eph. 1:23, NLT)
We are it.
We are the donut hole.
We need each other, like it or not. For our love for God is played out in our love for people. Doing life in the context of relationships keeps our deceitful hearts exposed to ourselves; when we set out to rub shoulders with people only to find we get rubbed the wrong way, we find out who we really are.
But the importance of relationship extends beyond the walls of the church. It is the most basic human need.
It's why studies link physical wellness to healthy relationships.
It's why some will offer and accept free hugs among strangers in the marketplace.
It's why Chuck Nolson (Tom Hanks in Castaway) created "Wilson" out of a volley ball, and gave up on life when that ball--which represented the only relationship he had, floated away.
It is why we are here.
“The essence of life is relationship.” –Victor Dodzweit