I need you because, in spite of everything, God isn’t enough.
During a semester of student teaching, my whole life changed. And the time I used to have as a student was suddenly gone. I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I didn’t have control of my schedule. And I couldn’t find the time for people that I used to take for granted.
It was hard. I didn’t see my friends at all when I stuck to my daily routine, my roommates were rarely to never in the room when I was both home and awake, and my teachers had all gone home by the time I got back to campus every day. What had been a life filled to bursting with people who love me, turned into a life filled with professional relationships, teacher-student confidentiality, and hallway gossip. I moved further from the center of the church. I could feel the difference.
I was lonely. I was also busy. When friends asked about getting together, I’d hedge. Because I had to calculate how much sleep I was willing to give up in order to see them. I’d hedge. Because I was already so tired.
I’d talk to God in between things – down time in the classroom, while driving to and from school – and it was good. God’s good. I like talking to God. But it wasn’t enough.
I’ve been thinking about it this way. God, for me, is kind of like sleep, which I need. But people – to my extroverted, overworked mind are more like food. And even though I trust I’m making a difference through my work, I’m hungry. Hungry for relationship.
In church, we sing about God being all we need. Sometimes we ask, in our songs, for God to make us broken, lonely, empty, so he can fill those places. But as the words leave my mouth, my heart whispers something deeper: God isn’t all I need. I need you, too.
I know I’m not a heretic (even though I feel like one). God knows what I need. God even created me this way. Adam and Eve were made for each other because it is not good to be alone. Jesus didn’t stop with “Love God with all your heart.” Jesus also said I should love my neighbor. When Jesus saved us on the cross, he saved us for each other. He saved us for the church, a people who allow us to give and receive fellowship and peace in the beauty of being together. Even when it’s a mess. Especially when we’re a mess.
I’m a mess.
And I need you.
So here’s my promise to you. When you need me, I’m willing to lose a little sleep. I’ll sit in the library after I get back from work and trade stories. I’ll stay up past my bedtime every now and then, waiting for you. We can eat hot wings and watch Doctor Who. I’ll set aside a little bit of my planning time and make time for a hallway conversation. I’ll get up early on my day off so we can drive to Wichita.
I promise to still be a friend, to still show up for you, to be the church with you. I will not neglect joy. I will not neglect you.
Because God isn’t enough. I also need you.