Moss Hart was a playwright who grew up in New York City in the 1930’s. He was 7 years old when he and his father went Christmas shopping. Moss had great ideas as he accompanied his dad from store to store. He visualized trains, printing presses, chemistry sets and other things boys his age would want. They moved from store to store, but each time Moss suggested something, his father would just move on without a word. They were walking down one of the streets where the street vendors had set up their booths. Moss’s father would pick up a trinket or a small toy and try to interest him, but he was not interested. As they moved down the street Moss heard his father jingle some coins in his pocket. Then, it dawned on him, that his father had gotten together a few coins that amounted to about seventy-five cents. In that moment Moss saw it, the look of despair on his father’s face. Moss realized in that moment the gulf between them. “I wanted to stop right there, throw my arms around him and say, ‘it doesn’t matter, you are my dad, and you are better than any gift, but instead I said nothing’. We were two lonely people struggling to reach each other.”
I ask the question, Why the gulf between us and why cannot we reach each other? Some years ago, AT&T had an ad campaign that merely said, “reach out and touch someone”. The ad was very success and ran for two years. It stated in the form of advertising what so many of us struggle with.
Most of us want to be connected in a deep meaningful relationship. However, it does not happen We feel isolated, alone disconnected from those around us.
Deep and fulfilling relationships are built over time through commitment, integrity, respect and transparency. Think on those words regarding the place where life finds you right now. As a result of my relationships I am stretched, I feel connected and someone is there to help me through the difficult times of life.

David, though King of Israel, had difficult relationships with his children. One prime example is told in I Samuel, beginning in chapter 13. The story is too long to share here, but the result of what happened between two of his children, resulted in the alienated relationship between David and his son Absalom. As you follow this story, this alienation between father and son actually led to a civil war, where we find David leaving his Kingship to Absalom and leads eventually to the death of his son. When Absalom is killed David cries out, “Oh Absalom, Absalom, my son. Would to God that I died, rather than you”. The results of alienation can be devastating. It is a tragic thing to stand beside an open grave of someone from whom you were alienated. It is tragic to die, while being alienated.
How do we come back from alienation?
I need to identify the problem. It need not be someone else I am alienated from. Perhaps I am alienated from myself. Have you placed unrealistic expectations on your life? Perhaps your alienation is from others, perhaps an event in childhood or with a mate or a friend. I need to be honest and identify the problem. I may need help in doing this.
Then, what do I do about what I find? First, do not allow the victim mentality stop you from being honest. I need to be honest about whatever happened to cause the alienation. The problem may be mine and through my own integrity, I determine to fix what is broken. This can be difficult and something that King David never did. Absalom died being alienated from his Father.

Then, there is the big question, do I really want to get better? This may sound strange, but some people enjoy being in a broken relationship. They enjoy the role of a victim. I find it interesting that in John Chapter 5 where Jesus meets that man beside the pool of Bethesda and Jesus asks him, “do you want to get better”? Some people do not want to get better.
Then, as I journey down this road of restoration, I need to seek forgiveness, even if I need to forgive myself for my part in this alienation. The response of Joseph to his brothers, when they found out who he really was, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”. Those brother that had sold him to the Midianites so many years ago were totally forgiven.
In this process I also need to forgive myself, for any role I played in the alienation. As I go down this road of restoration, I need to allow the Lord Jesus to lead me into a meaningful new life.

Can you reach out and touch someone? Let your soul out of prison and enjoy the life God has given you.

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