Last Spring, one of my best friends at my side, I fulfilled a childhood dream and visited New York City. I was awe-struck by the majesty of buildings reaching toward the sky, throngs of people rubbing shoulders on busy streets, and the history of Lady Liberty, Rockefeller, and the Empire State.
My awe reached new heights at the hallowed ground of the 9/11 Memorial.
On a gray, wet, and frigid day, we stepped upon the soil that marked tragedy and transformation in the lives of thousands. Two caverns in the ground, now streaming with fresh water, once held steel and concrete—once held blood and breath.
Umbrellas shielding us from rain, we stood with hundreds of others, hearts lodged in our throats as we remembered. A volunteer, a New Yorker, shared her story of that fateful day and life in the aftermath.
She spoke two words that have echoed in my heart ever since: MEANINGFUL ADJACENCY.
The architects of the memorial didn’t consider it sufficient to capture the names of lives lost in ordinary capacity. This place was so much more than ordinary. Instead, names would be engraved in stone with great significance, with relationship—with heart.
Two brothers, first responders on the scene, etched side by side.
One life, lost two that day—her father on the plane that crashed into the tower, and her best friend at the World Trade Center for a job interview. Their names rest together.
One man met another on a collapsing staircase and refused to leave him, even unto death. They will be forever linked, name by name.
Todd Beamer, who courageously shouted “Let’s Roll” on that terrorist boarded flight, is beside the other brave souls on that plane who rescued us from more tragedy.
And it makes me think—who would be beside me? WHO WOULD BE BESIDE YOU?
Who are the people who share your heartbeat? Whose thoughts echo your own? Who are the individuals, the lives, whom God has set beside you to hold you up, to speak truth, to thread their arm through yours as you travel this path of life?
WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER—ADJACENT.
Simple or complex. Tender or tragic. Whatever it is that has led us to the holy ground of Christ’s cross, we are adopted into one family. We travel, love, forgiveness, and abounding grace the cargo we carry with us. They unite us in a truth we can never be separated from—we are all His.
As a writer, I’ve been embraced and encouraged by an incredible community of sojourners. Women, who have reached out of their own lives and into mine. They have nodded along with me over words poured on a page, and ministered to me through their gifts and talent. We are linked by God and truth, our connection one that may have been unexpected, but was entirely orchestrated by Him.
Over the next 4 weeks, I’ve invited these sisters in Christ into this space—this safe place—to share their hearts; their story. To show us just what meaningful adjacency looks like in the everyday—in REAL life.
Their REAL lives are within Christ and they exude Him with grace, authenticity, and transparency. They speak REAL truth backed by genuine heart that proves that faith isn’t something mastered with a striving for perfection, but is embraced one, often uphill, step at a time. [ <====Click to Tweet ]
TOGETHER, WE DRAW CLOSER TO OUR PRIZE—MORE OF JESUS.
This is your place too and we welcome you to travel beside us. We invite you in. Come sit with us and enjoy some REAL conversation with women of God.
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You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Kelly Balarie (#raralinkup), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday), Bonnie Gray (#faithbarista), and Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory).
All photos © Tiffany Parry 2015