Youthful Reflections on Faith

Absence and the Heart

IMG_0445It’s commonly said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But does it really? Or does it only create a gap that grows wider with each passing day?

The kind of absence here is that separation which comes about after having enjoyed some sort of friendship or kinship. And most likely living in same area or a not too far location, then having to move away for a while or permanently.

Many changes happen in life which cause people to move away from where they have called home all their life or a neighbourhood they know so well that they can draw a detailed picture. They may know everyone’s name and have friends from nursery or primary school. It could also be a community they have only recently moved to but grown comfortable in and have come to like a lot.

But life goes on and change is constant.

People change their jobs, get married, seek studies in particular places or get scholarships to faraway institutions. Others loose loved ones and can no longer bear the familiarity around them, some simply seek adventure or a better standard of life. Whatever the situation, they will likely leave family and friends behind. People who have a special place in their hearts and with whom they share great memories.

With such a move, will an emotional distance build up automatically, in relation to the physical distance; Will a different understanding erupt out of warmth or of strangeness?

When people get separated, it takes a greater commitment to sustain the relationship, because communication will now mostly be based on exchanges using technology rather than being involved in each other’s lives directly. Each day may feel like both parties are growing further apart or growing together. Some will wonder if life has just moved on, and its best to leave it that way or struggle to hang on to things and dream wbout what once used to be.

Typically, because people tend to depend on others rather than on the Almighty Creator so when such people move away, their dependency leaves them weak or lost. The strong shoulder is gone, the listening ear is no longer nearby, the approver, problem solver, decision maker etc is gone far. What can be made of life then?

The best reminder to keep at hand is that life is temporary and so is everything contained in it, including the loved ones. Any absence caused by such separation should be an opportunity to seek closeness to our Lord Who is Ever Living, and become close to Him and learn to depend on Him Alone.

Such greater love and reliance on the Almighty will only increase fondness for the loved ones, whatever their distance. And the sweet fruit of that absence is that whenever each pray for the other over the distance, the same prayer is made for them. Therefore supplicate for your brother/ sister in their absence rather than wither away.

Following this rule of absence, it’s a win-win for all – a blessing upon blessing.  With the angels saying ”May the same be for you too”, what better comfort can be sought  but to rejoice in all absences!

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