The Cost of Connection

£28 is my cost of connection.

The last few months the £28 we pay for internet might have been one of my household’s most worthy investments.

How much do you pay to connect?

Maybe it’s a coffee out each week with a friend? Flights abroad to see loved ones? The prices of clothing or Netflix or a newspaper subscription to keep connected to the trends and current affairs around us?

There is always a cost to connection, even when the coffee is free.

Online church could become a lot more of a spectator sport, costing us nothing to tune into, but to really ‘be’ church costs a whole lot more.

Coronavirus has been humbling for many of us, trapped in houses, forced to rely on others. It is costly, because it eats away our pride, our self-reliance and self-sufficiency. But in doing so it puts us right back where God always intended us to be. In the centre of community, dependant on others and on him.

Asking for help with shopping and practical needs is one thing, but what about sharing our emotional needs?

During these last months I’ve been struck by how much it costs to stay truly connected. There have been moments when it has felt lonely, when I have felt tempted to become bitter at those who haven’t checked in as regularly as I would have liked who haven’t made time to listen.

And each time there has been a choice. To allow feelings of loneliness, rejection, and distance to rule my thinking and create further chasms in my connections or to pay the cost, be vulnerable and fight for connection. There is a choice to withdraw or to get back on the connectivity train where the quickest way to the destination is through a painful wall of vulnerability.

No-one is a mind reader. So unless we articulate things, unless we reach out, others have no way of knowing. But it’s costly, It involves getting to know myself enough to know why I feel like I do, what lies I have started to believe and what I need, so that I can ask for it.
We were made for community. And true community costs. It costs us coming out of hiding, getting over our pride and self-pity, our fear of rejection and choosing to fight to stay connected.

Jesus was inconvenienced, had his reputation questioned many times and went without many things: a stable home, financial security, and even lost his life - all in the name of connection. So that you and I could connect with him and with his and our father God.

We’ve probably all been in the same boat at some point, wrestling with feelings of loneliness or isolation or the lie that no one cares.

As the family of God, we have a responsibility to fight for the connection of others too, to see through their facades and attempts to control perceptions of their reality.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you”.

Even the most introverted of us want to be pursued by someone, to know someone cares and is reaching out, especially when we can’t get the courage to build that connection ourselves.
Jesus came to bridge our gap, whilst we were still in sin, unable to articulate the chasm that divided us, he came and paid the price to connect us.

Let’s be willing to pay the cost for the connection of others like Jesus did, whether that is articulating our own feelings of loneliness or exclusion to someone, or making an effort with someone else, let’s go the distance for each other, to pay the cost, to be known and to know each other.

John 13:35: ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Connection is costly but it’s what real love looks like.

Emily Williams