Intimacy by Patty Juster

The longing to be inside each other, to be intimately close, is innate within each of us.  When I think of the closeness I have with my husband I crave even greater intimacy.  It is not enough to have the nearness of sex as one can be making contact physically but be miles away from each other in their thoughts.  Oneness comes from knowing how the other thinks, processes his world, and feels.  It is truly being able to “eat” up the other person so they are on the inside of you and you inside of them.  It is like living in a shared body.  Perhaps the best way of “eating” another is by listening very carefully to the words spoken by another, and receiving them into you.  It is cherishing what another says and asking questions so as to find out who they are.

When I think of what God says in Deuteronomy 8 about how he caused the Israelites to hunger so they would know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father I can substantiate this analogy of words spoken and bread.  It is not enough to eat good physical food for the health of our bodies; we also need spiritual food that comes from the Holy Spirit through touching others.  I think that this is why meal time is so important.  It is at the table when we are eating physical food that we can also eat of each of other as we share our hearts with each other.  When we look at our words as being food for another I think it gives us a holy fear of not speaking words that are not good for the listener.  If we gossip, speak evil of another, complain, speak foul words, etc., we are feeding harmful food to all who hear.  And, if we hear bad words from others our soul is contaminated as well.

I can take this analogy even farther.  If others feed off of me and vice versa, than my withholding “food” (words) in a act of self protection can deprive another of the banquet that is inside of me.  So, in revenge for having been hurt I can vow not to share my thoughts or feelings with another who has responded in a perceived or real sinful way toward my personhood.  In other words, if I experienced rejection then I reject in return.  If death is really separation from each other either physically or emotionally, than our refusal to “feed” each other (reject each other) starves a relationship so it dies. 

What does it mean in Scripture when it says we do not belong to ourselves?  Do we really have the right to choose who we are going to open our heart up to or not?  Shouldn’t God be the one who is the gatekeeper of our heart and or our words?  Do we have the right to withhold food from the hungry?  He will distribute our “food” according to what is needed by another and he will give us grace to put the unwholesome “food,” that is spewed from another’s mouth, in the garbage can so we do not have to eat it.  We do not have to let bad words affect our souls.

Our words are real food as they represent the life or death that dwells within us (life and death are in the power of the tongue).  The Lord’s Supper conveys this imagery.  Yeshua told his disciples that his flesh was real food and his blood was real drink.  He said that if they did not eat of the bread then they would not have life in them.  He claimed to be the bread of life that came down from heaven to give life to all who eat of him.  So how do we eat of him?  We listen to his words and obey, taking heed.  Just as the Father was in the Son and the Son was in the Father, so this is the oneness God wants with us and for us to have with each other.  Yeshua was the Word that had become flesh and dwelt among us.  His Word can become written on our hearts; they can become alive within us and become food for our soul.  As we partake of the Lord’s Supper we are renewing this reality and are actually receiving life and strength.  We enter into the deepest communion with the Holy Spirit and each other as we partake of the same “loaf.”  We become one as we share even our sorrows and joys on the deepest level.  It is the fellowship of sharing in his suffering that qualifies us as his sons and co-heirs with him of the Kingdom!