I'm traveling right now.
I've stayed in five different host homes. Met one, five, two, two, and three people at each of those places.
I've gone to four schools--interacted with a total of 11 classes/chapels.
I've been to two youth groups, one sunday morning church service, one Wednesday night church service, one evening of games, one afternoon of walking around downtown Chicago and turning away a man raising money for the homeless, (still frustrated with myself for that...) met friends of a friend, and seen countless people in stores and streets and everywhere I've gone.
Point is--There's been a lot of people. I've talked with a lot of people. I've seen a lot of people. I've smiled at a lot of people. And I've turned my eyes away from a lot of people.
A speaker during my DTS* pointed something out to me one evening-- "You seek relationships that are a mile deep and an inch wide. Some people seek mile wide and an inch deep friendships. Learn to be okay with that difference."
Guess what I've done? Yup, looked for a balance, a combination, between the two. A way to make two contradictory things fit together.
See, I'm beginning to think something's taking place that's gonna tear me apart if I can't stand it. Mile deep relationships, each an inch wide, covering a full mile.
A mile wide of mile deep relationships? Surely that's not possible.
But everything I feel like God is pulling my heart towards would require two things--many, many relationships, and each relationship to be a deep friendship.
Back to this traveling stuff.
The reason the idea of a mile wide of mile deep relationships scares me stiff is very, very simple--I hate leaving people.
In the past week and a half I've seen so many people. Most of them I didn't let myself get close to. Most of them I didn't have the chance to even begin to know. But a few of them I got close to. A few of them, I even took the shovel and started on a relationship that could grow to be a mile deep. I broke the ground. There should have been a ceremony.
Except then I had to leave.
And that hurts.
Because when I begin that first dig, I commit my heart.
So how many times can I commit my heart? How many broken people can I look in the eyes, speak God's love to, and then encourage them to step back into life...and say goodbye?
I don't have an answer to that question. I know what my response is though--to make a deep quarry. One of friendships. But the thing about quarries is that what gets dug always gets carted away. So I will dig a quarry of friendships, of connections to people that will never be broken, and watch the threads of my heart stretched across the world and pray that God can use me somehow to produce something useful.
*DTS--Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. Look it up or ask me for more information if you don't know what that is.