When you eat an orange, you have to peel away the outer layer in order to get to the tasty nutritious part. It takes work and is often messy, but it is only once the layer is peeled off that the orange can be enjoyed. (Try eating an orange like an apple – peel on and everything – and you’ll be extremely dissatisfied.)
This is the same with relationships.
We all crave deep, intimate relationships. But all too often, we don’t do the hard work of actually spending time with each other, sharing our struggles and joys, peeling away the layers and getting deep with one another.
But in order to experience relationships in the way we were meant to, we must do this. It’s the only way to enjoy that deep, messy, nutritious intimacy that each and every one of us longs for.
Have you ever noticed that when you open up to somebody about your pain, struggles, joys, or heartaches, that you feel closer to the other person? Or maybe you’ve gone on a retreat or on a missions trip and spent some time with a group of people. When you return, you and the group come back closer, stronger, and deeper in your friendships.
The layers have been peeled back.
Your soul craves deep, honest, open, loving, intimate relationships. And just as your body will become sick without enough vitamin C (something oranges are filled with), so your soul will become sick without this deep, messy, enriching relational intimacy; the kind of intimacy that comes about from spending time with another person and sharing your life, struggles, joys, and pains with each other, all while learning to love and accept each other in the midst of all of it.
This is hard work and it is messy. But it’s the only way to peel away the layer that inhibits quality relationships.
So do the hard work. Get your hands messy. Go deep with your fellow human beings. Give and serve, don’t just take. Share your pain, struggles, joys, and life with one another, and in the process find the nutrition your soul is craving; the relational intimacy that you were created for.
(Note: this kind of depth, intimacy, and rawness can’t come about through Facebook, email, or other social media channels. They can help, but they cannot be a substitute for face-to-face human interactions.)