Today my youngest granddaughter turns 2. She lives less than 1 km from us. An easy walk. She might have been in Canada, too.
“But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.”
― Calla Quinn, All the Time
“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“Sometimes I feel like crying, tears of happiness, tears of joy, to see the distance we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.”
– John Lewis
“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
– Zora Neale Hurston
How do you measure distance?
1.5m from you to me? Or 1.5m from me to you?
Do you measure distance in units, be it imperial miles or metric Km’s? Something like the distance from Cape Town to Cairo is 10 259.9 km (thanks Google). Or Cape Town to Saint Hellier is 12675.8 km. That is exact enough, I hope?
Do you measure distance in time? It is 10 hours’ drive to Bloemfontein from Cape Town. It is a 12-hour flight to Gatwick? It is an hour drive to Hermanus?
Do you measure distance in stopovers? From Cape Town to Johannesburg, to Doha, to Dublin …
IF not in Time or Units?
Not all distance can be measured in time or units. Some distance is infinite. Some distance cannot be bridged. That often happens in relationships. It happens between groups of people. How do you bridge a distance when somebody just refuses to listen? How do you bridge a distance when a party in the distance is dishonest and have hidden agendas? I believe when there is too big a gap in values the distance becomes infinite.
Distance is increased by immaturity. I see so much of that. One of my lecturers said: “People say marriages break up because of bad communication. It is not true. Relationships break up because of immaturity.” Applies to friendships, marriages, groups and countries.
Decades later I still think he was right. Even more so, today.
In South Africa, when I look at comments on Facebook. I often wonder that there are not more divorced people when I read the comments! The distance becomes infinite and ever growing! Immaturity.
At the same time, I often observe people and
“Sometimes I feel like crying, tears of happiness, tears of joy, to see the distance we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.” – John Lewis
We can learn from young people. The danger is that the old farts might mess (read with an F) this up again! Many seem to try their utmost.
The opposite of the infinite distance is that one can be very close to somebody because of share values and respect – even when you do not know the person!
The best way, I think, to bridge a distance, is love. Whether it is the distance between Cape Town and Vernon – 16 139km – or between myself and the person that has a different view than I have. Love will at least cause me to listen to understand and not listen just to refute an argument, just pretending to listen. Love changes everything (listen below).
This morning I had a conversation with somebody. He says he realizes God is unknowable. God is a mystery. In the same way he realized we cannot know people. People are a mystery, too.
My answer was that it is pure logic. If man is created in the image of God, it is logical that both will be a mystery. I explained it this way. If I carve a sculpture of a lion, the sculpture will look like a lion. But the lion will also look like the sculpture. Has to. That has implications for distance. When we stand face-to-face, it is image of God facing image of God. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matt 25:40.
How would the world be different if we could do it that way? What would happen to distance?
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.