In The Distance

“The Distance”

The distance

is someone else’s


where children

play with a dog and a ball

and their parents

sit on the front porch

gazing off into the distance

which is someone else’s


where children

play with a dog and ball

and their parents

sit on the front porch

gazing off into the distance.
A husband and wife emerged from the SUV in the grocery store parking lot. They were deeply engaged in conversation. Not, however, with each other. Both were on the phone. I was hoping they’d at least called each other to have a chat, but they had not.

There may have been a very good reason both were talking to people who weren’t in the vehicle with them, heading into the store still speaking to someone who wasn’t there, rather than to each other. But the situation seemed emblematic, and symptomatic, of the age in which we live.

We are often connected via phone, text, email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—etc.—to everyone we cannot see and disconnected to those sharing life by our side.

The poem “The Distance” was written years ago, long before the digital age (yes, I am very thankful the internet allows us to share these words). One of the points the poem tries to make is that sometimes we are so distracted wishing for how things might be that we do not see the blessings within arm’s reach. And so we lose them. Forever.

But there is another side to disconnection. If we’re not careful, we can become detached from our deepest self. Life’s myriad distractions—or some deep life wound—can separate us from a soul connection to our child of God selves. We then run the risk of losing our way, getting tangled up in life’s weeds and thorns.

That can happen to anyone. None of us is immune. And we may not even recognize what’s going on. One minute we’re in the green pasture beside the still waters. The next second we’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death and there’s not a green pasture in sight. Only the distance.

But there is a way out. There is always a way out. However much we may distance ourselves from our Good Shepherd, intentionally or not, Jesus never distances himself from us.

Goodness and love will always follow, wherever life takes us, guiding us out from the weeds and thorns. Then, amazingly, we find ourselves back on the front porch—just like that—getting up from our chairs, joining our children, our spouse or a friend, as they—as we—play with a dog and a ball.

The distance is gone. If not forever then, at least and at last, for one moment in a day.

2 thoughts on “In The Distance

  1. So the poem is not yours but the comments are? I see people strolling their babies, and they are not present to them, the are looking at the “thing” or talking on it. Same with walking dogs. I like all your posts .love mom


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