Going “home” is sometimes bittersweet. Even though Tyler is our home now, Corpus Christi was home for many years. Our recent trip to Corpus was mixed with excitement and sorrow. The reason is because of relationships. Relationships tend to define “home” even more than the house you live in.

For my wife, Corpus Christ will always be home. She grew up there and spent most of her life there. It was the relationships that we most looked forward to renewing on this latest trip. Even relationships with favorite restaurants can end up “broken”. One of the ones we were really looking forward to enjoying was out of business.

Spending time with old friends ranged from exciting and refreshing to bittersweet. We truly enjoyed seeing friends and for some it seemed to strengthen and reestablish those bonds of friendship. Some of the friendships didn’t seem to have the same closeness we once felt and some that we may have felt a little less strong seemed to be even stronger. Hearing about the events of those we care about, whether success, heartache, illness or loss touched our hearts and reinforced the thread of love and concern for those with whom we have a relationship.

Distance doesn’t define a relationship. Even as Jesus loves us, his command that we love one another is for one person to another person and is not dependent on location. We can maintain relationships through time and distance. Those that we care about tend to be easier to love but to really show Christ’s love we must love the unlovable.

Why do we shy away from the people who are different from us? Are we afraid, embarrassed, or just don’t want to mess with someone who might require more energy than we want to give? I hope we can learn to love as Jesus loves. This is where the fruit of the Spirit really starts to make us truly like Christ. Can you imagine the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that comes with that?

It is not a suggestion that we love one another, it is a command! John 15:12 GO LOVE!