It really is a small world in the body of the Lord. I learned tonight that two young women have connected on the other side of the planet, in China. Although they live a great distance from one another, they have begun skyping nightly and plan to get together for the Chinese New Year in a few weeks. Their connection?…They both know Hannah Colley Giselbach and they both know the Lord. ( I’m happy for your connection, Season and Laura!)
Recently, when Hannah was on her honeymoon in Florida, she and Ben went to worship with God’s people on Sunday. Interestingly, they met a sweet sister in Christ who had previously lived in Henderson, Tennessee, the town in which Hannah and Ben had met and where Hannah had lived during college and after graduation while teaching in the local high school. They chatted a bit about Henderson and found that they had all attended Freed Hardeman University at some point in time. It was at Bible Study the following Wednesday, when Hannah was asking this girl some questions about area attractions in Florida, that they somehow began talking about Henderson again. Hannah asked her where she had lived in Henderson and she said she had lived on Steed Street.
“Do you know where that is?” she asked.
Hannah said, “Not only do I know where that is but my apartment was on that street!…Did you live in that complex where all those college apartments are?”
“Well, actually,” she said, “My apartment wasn’t in either of those complexes. Mine was one side of a duplex, but I can’t remember the number.”
Hannah was starting to wonder if possibly…”Really?! I lived in a duplex, also. Was it brick?”
“Yeah…and I lived on the left side if you are facing the apartment. I wish I could remember…”
“Did you have Chinese neighbors, by any chance?”
“They are still there! I lived in the same exact apartment!”
“Did you like that white rug I left in the living room?…the one with the iron-shaped burn on the edge?”
“Yes!…Yes! Here I am in Florida and I am talking with the girl who rented my apartment just before I rented it! Out of all those student apartments in a college town, we lived in the same one!”
A big coincidence. Someone has postulated that we can access anyone in the world through six degrees; that is through accessing six or fewer people, we can reach any one targeted person on the planet. Some very interesting studies have been done on this subject and you can read about them in a Wikipedia article entitled “Six Degrees of Separation.” Obviously, the commonality we enjoy in Christ minimizes much further the access distance, thus making coincidences in Christ fairly common. Glenn and I rarely go to any congregation or even any theme park or large gathering at which we don’t run into someone who knows someone that we know; that is we meet someone from whom we’ve formerly been separated by only one degree.
It’s fun to think about the fact, too, that all Christians are separated by only one degree if you count the Lord. I know the Lord, and He knows you. He is the “degree” that binds us together. But we have to both know Him for this joint access to the same Savior to unite us. How do we know that we know him? I John 2:3:
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
If I’m keeping them and you are, too, we are separated by only one degree, at most, and He is the omnipotent Degree. He is the One who has the power to bring all who know Him together in one place and keep them there…together…forever. He is the ultimate access to eternal relationships where there will be no more parting; no degrees of separation at all.
For now, isn’t it great that we, as God’s women–as sisters– can soar over degrees of separation and connect like never before through the amazing internet? I am just very thankful for this new spot on the web, made possible by the amazing blessings of talent that God has given to my sister, Jennifer Benavides. I pray that the Colley house will help keep us connected in ideas and good works and in study for His ultimate and eternal glory. On nights like tonight, as I reflect on the blessings of encouragement that so many of you are in my life, I find it very hard to believe (and frankly, wondeful) that I get to write and reach and connect and grow along with so many of his faithful women. I think maybe Sarah would not have made the Hagar mistake if she had been connected to so many women of God who could have offered support and advice in her infertility. Maybe Rebekah would have encouraged integrity in Jacob rather than greed and maybe she could have gotten on the same page with her husband if she could have listened to some grandmothers who had already walked in her shoes. I just think God has blessed us with this amazing technology that, with prayer and wisdom, can explode our potential for strength as his women, as well as our potential for evangelism. Let’s stake our claim on the internet for His glory. Let’s think BIG. Each of us is only one, but when we think about the One in the middle of us all, we have an extremely powerful connection. I hope you will join me in praying for this new website. I know it’s a small thing and I know the Colleys are, at best, just filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). But He can use the smallest filthy rags for His glory.