I shouldn’t like your Uncle Matt, but I do. In fact, I love him. When you get older you’ll hear guys use the phrase, “He’s like a brother to me,” to describe how tight their relationship is. Your Uncle Matt is one of the only people I could ever say this about.
Sometimes, it’s hard for people to understand why.
It’s crazy that we’re even friends, let alone have a bond unlike any I’ve ever known. For example:
– Your Uncle Matt is a country boy; I’m a city kid.
– He drives a truck that’s so big I have to literally jump and grab hold of a handle so I can hoist myself into the cab; I walk or take public transportation.
– Uncle Matt collects guns; I hate guns.
– He likes to camp and hunt; I prefer the great indoors, thank you very much.
We read different kinds of books, like different types of bars, and completely disagree on whether or not anyone could ever, for any reason, need such a ridiculously huge truck! But I love the redneck. Loud truck and all.
So how did we ever become friends? One word: Jesus.
I have a lot of friends who are just like me in so many ways. My friend Ryan and I love to talk about urban gardening. Big Rob, Uncle Dago and I appreciate high-quality single malt Scotch. Your Uncle Josh and I both agree that U2’s “No Line On The Horizon” is grossly underrated.
Lewis, the truth is, I have far more friends who are nothing like me than ones who are just like me. And the only thing 99% of those people and I have in common is our belief in Jesus.
One of the most beautiful things about being a follower of Christ is the diversity of people you meet and grow to love along the way.
You can say music brings people together, but most punk rock kids look and act the same (until we’re about 22 years old). Sports bring people together, but it’s rare to see a South African white kid and an Indo-Canadian woman standing next to each other at a baseball game.
But as a follower of Jesus I can tell you I’ve sat next to punk rock kids in church, chatted with a young South African father while waiting to pick our kids up from the nursery, and held the hand of an Indo-Canadian grandmother during the closing prayer. And I did all of this, with all of these people, on the same Sunday.
Your Uncle Matt and I have been through a lot together. I can guarantee you we never would have met if it hadn’t been for our desire to follow Jesus. It’s what brought a small-town Wyoming boy and a dirty punk rock kid from Kansas City together in Phoenix, Arizona in October of 2002.
In the 12 years since, we’ve connected on many levels and have found commonality in a variety of areas. We’ve spent seasons of life sleeping in the same van or apartment, and we’ve spent seasons not seeing much of each other at all. But it’s Jesus who brought us together and who binds our hearts and souls, no matter the season or circumstance in which we find ourselves.
Lewis, as we get older, the differences between your Uncle Matt and I will probably grow. Regardless of who we may become, Jesus will remain the same. He will always be our common ground, even if every other connection breaks.
I love you, Lewis. I pray you will grow up to have friends who are nothing like you – except for their desire to follow Jesus.
Who have you connected with, built lasting relationships with, while following Christ that you never would have met otherwise?
What does the diversity of those drawn to Christ tell you about the nature, love and desire of God?
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