When PBS airs new episodes, every Sunday night is Downton Abbey night at the Jarrett home. Our dear friends introduced us to the series shortly after exchanging vows (we were married within two weeks of each other). We treasured our time together as we shared a meal and took in the drama of Lord Grantham’s household.
Something about the early Twentieth Century is so romantic. From the complex melodies of classical pieces, to the way to the jazz came on the scene in roaring twenties, the music of the day created a timeless soundtrack as people lived out their lives together. Almost as much as I am fascinated by the music of this time period, I have always been drawn to the afternoon tea time. The art of taking tea served as the perfect opportunity to pause the duties of the day and spend quality time with others.
In the hustle of our present day, there are projects to be completed, kids to shuttle, meetings to attend, and time cards to punch. It is no wonder that we so easily lose sight of personal connection. Conversations facilitated by social media and brief text messages barely sustain our relationships. These same connections have the potential to hold so much more weight – to be deeper and more meaningful than we allow them to be. In order to achieve richness in our relationships, we need to make space for growth.
When Jesus walked the earth, he made a very plain statement about our personal testimony – the proof that he has radically transformed our lives: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, ESV) This is the kind of love that is fostered when we break bread, road trip, pray for divine intervention, climb mountains, drink coffee, sing praises, cry tears, share truth, move boxes, fish rivers, walk city streets, and discuss difficult topics. . . together. We are not called to do life in a vacuum. We absolutely need one another. We need strength in times of weakness, cheers roaring from the front row, comforting words when we have none, and wisdom when seeking direction. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15, ESV) This. This is where relationships are fortified and the fruit becomes evident to all who are present. May the next thirty days be marked by our growing love for one another, that the adventure of life would be shared!