(Almost) Slaking My Thirst for Community

It happened again.  I went on this amazing vacation, expecting excitement and beauty and awe.  I was not disappointed; it had all that and more.  After a brutal Midwest winter, the Caribbean cruise was a reminder that the White Witch really does not rule Narnia.

For five days, the paralysis of cold and gray gave way to warmth and life.  My soul began to thaw.

But as I have found previously after a vacation like this, the real value of the experience was not in the weather or the activities or even in the content of the conference.  It was in the community that was built, if only for a few days. A few intense but much-too-brief days.

Then there is the familiar ache I have come to expect, the ache unrelated to being back in the “real” world, but with leaving behind fresh new relationships, connections formed out of shared passions and common interests, and stories of hope and triumph.  It felt like I was presented with a tall glass of true Christian community and then had it snatched away before I could drink it in fully.

This thirst for community is a common theme for me.  My friend Wendy told me once that the grief I feel at this loss of community is from God; that it is the result of having been given a tiny glimpse of what we will experience in Heaven.

When the preview is over, as it is for me tonight, it makes our longing for Heaven more intense, and living without it that much harder.  It is an exquisite thought – unending “fellowship” (as we used to say in the church of my youth) in an atmosphere of pure love.

But for now, I will have to enjoy the drop of cool water on my tongue that these earthly experiences provide.  I’ll take the “almost slakes” and be grateful for the memories  …  and the preview of what is to come.

About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

12 thoughts on “(Almost) Slaking My Thirst for Community”

    1. So glad we shared that drop on the cruise (and that zipline drop in Ocho Rios, too!) Hope to see you and Rob again – maybe in Colorado next time! As soon as I get home tomorrow and get my pictures downloaded, I’ll send you the ones I took in Jamaica of you guys. Thanks again for your kind comment!

  1. You expressed this ache so beautifully … I’m feeling kind of sad that the introvert in me wasn’t able to meet and connect with more people. There were so many amazing souls … Thank you for sharing this.

    1. I feel the same way, Idelette, as an introvert! I wish that I had been able to have the time and guts to open up to everybody! Everyone on the cruise has such a wonderful and inspiring story to share!

    2. Today I’m back at work, the train was late, and the weather stinks. But I still have a little Jamaican mud on my backpack from the zipline experience a week ago today, so I feel like some of that good “mojo” is still with me. Holding on to what I can and hoping you are, too!

  2. Diane–this post is lovely. I feel so warm inside, just thinking about heaven and how wonderful it will be! Thanks so much for sharing and painting that beautiful imagery in my mind and soul today!

    1. We are most blessed to have the promise of Heaven – and the tiny hints of it on earth! Interesting that we find so many previews of Heaven in relationships with others. How like God.

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