Act 20: Out of the Blue

Show up out of the blue. Reconnect with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while, or an acquaintance you still have on Facebook, and encourage them. Don’t limit your imagination: the impact could be way more outsized than you think.

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
Green:
Right now, send a quick encouraging text, out of the blue.  

Amber:
  Spend time crafting an intentional message telling an old friend about their impact on you. What might you write on a really sincere thank you card to a good friend? Send that. 

Red:
Go way back – an old youth leader, teacher, or friend. Tell them how your life’s different because of them. Arrange to meet up if they live near.

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“May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.”
(2 Timothy 1:16–17 NIV)
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Your thought for today:

Four verses near the beginning of 2 Timothy tell a sweet story. Paul, imprisoned for preaching the gospel, had been deserted by many friends (2 Tim 1:15) but he remembers Onesiphorus, an old acquaintance, who searched diligently until he had found and visited him. The comfort of a friendly face showing up out of the blue was immeasurable for Paul.

These days, rather than diligently searching for old friends, we only need to key their names into social media. On the one hand, it’s a blessing: long-lost friends can be contacted with one click. On the other hand, how often do I actually click? I’m more likely to be lulled into thinking that I can keep that relationship without contributing anything.

A while ago, I found a card in our local shop that reminded me so much of an old school friend that I decided to send it to her. I had to go online to ask for her ‘snail mail’ address. I wasn’t prepared for the flood of fond memories as I wrote it – the pictures we used to draw to send each other over the summer, how excited I used to be to see her handwriting on an envelope, how we used to plan what we would do when term started and we could see each other again. All that richness replaced by a photograph I hadn’t clicked on for months. I went back to the shop and bought a whole pack of notecards and stamps.

The phrase ‘in touch’ takes on an ironic sound when we consider how distant and artificial online links can be. Paul says of Onesiphorus ‘he often refreshed me’, recalling that his friend brought both physical and spiritual comforts to him in prison when he was lonely. Sometimes our screens and routines imprison us. Let’s diligently seek each other out.



 Written by Amy Robinson
Amy is a writer, performance storyteller and ventriloquist. She has written three books about puppetry and storytelling, published by Kevin Mayhew, and provides scripts and materials for GenR8, a Cambridgeshire charity running Christian assemblies and events in schools.


 

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