In John 17 Jesus prays that we may be one as He and the Father are one. I am utterly amazed at how religion and the world system isolates and separates us while Christ calls us to be ONE. I simply refuse to submit and surrender any longer to further isolation.
Isolated by Isolation
As men, I know that one of the most common shared realities is our isolation. We are isolated on so many levels. Isolated from one another and isolated from our world. We may have interaction but connection eludes us. Is this relegated to only men? No, I believe women experience this reality too but today I want to talk about the men.
If you ask most men whether they have a close trusted friend they will say no. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule but as I have walked through this world I have witnessed this more than not. I have had men come to me and say they are alone and lonely. They say, “I don’t have anyone I can go to nor do I have a constant source of brotherhood.” This to me is tragic. Most male friendships are based only on work events or tasks rather than our person. This makes the reality of isolation a living fact.
Long story short, isolation doesn’t usually lead to health. In actuality being isolated leads to chaos. I watched a quick video the other day from a doctor who discussed his observation that when a human cell is taken out of the body it experiences chaos. The cells of our body thrive in their own connected ecosystem. Each part functions and flourishes in community. One part speaks to another part and this leads to health and without it there is chaos.
Community and Connection
In the same way, we individually thrive in community and with connection. Chaos and addiction usually result in separation and isolation. While Christ must be the center and leader of our interactions, isolation typically leads to dysfunction.
In the last year I have sought to destroy isolation in my life. I have purposed to crush it and seek community. While my solitude is an amazing source of strength and connection with my Savior, this solace is not my only reality. I have learned to seek true connection and unity in a tribe of like-minded believers. It has been life changing and life giving.
Isolated men simply don’t flourish, they wilt. Addiction and heartache follow men separated from the flock. I have experienced a number of years when I simply got the job done and served as I should but now I am looking to fulfill our calling in John 17—oneness.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
John 17:20-23 NLT
Isolation is my go to word for describing the Pacific NW where I have lived all my life. Relationships seem to exist only in context of organization, i.e., a church friend or neighbor who sees you out on and about scurries away rather than acknowledge the friendship and talk awhile in an unfamiliar surrounding. I’ve locked eyes with a friend in an unfamiliar surrounding, like a grocery store, who when asked about it once back in the familiar place, denied seeing me – despite the clear recognition on their face when we ran into one another, unexpectedly. The PNW tends… Read more »