I don’t want to leave this earth not knowing the people I love as fully as I can.

I feel as if I’ve been hungry for a long time. Absolutely starving, really—I mean the kind of hungry you feel when you’re ready to tuck into a holiday feast complete with pie and appetizers. The thing is, this hunger I’ve got is not for food—although I love food; don’t get me wrong.

What I’m really hungry for is time to connect with friends and family. I crave a long, satisfying meal filled with delicious food, infectious laughter, and that comfortable feeling you have when you know you are completely safe with someone. When you don’t fear judgment because you know you’re loved and known.

Most of my communication these days comes from texts, tweets, and e-messages in at least a million forms. These forms of relating are like saltines for my hungry soul. When you’re so hungry you could eat your own arm and someone hands you one saltine, it’s a joke! You might be thankful for a little something to chew on, but you need a whole lot more than one salty little morsel to satisfy your hunger.

Does anyone else feel like our techy forms of connection aren’t cutting it? Does anyone else long to have a good deep belly laugh instead of a tweet-inspired chuckle? Does anyone else want to eat pot roast together instead of take-out alone over your iPhone?

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel as if we’re missing out on the connection God has in mind for us? Face-to-face connection is so much more than pictures on a screen. You can’t capture a breathtaking mountain view in a screen shot—it’s just a poor copy of the real vista.

This entire year God has been calling me to search for something deeper in all areas of my life—to enter into something more satisfying. So I’ve decided it’s time to stop being hungry. I’m going to throw more dinner parties and schedule more play dates. I’m going to open my home to friends in the hope that they want to connect as much as I do.

This isn’t whining or a guilt trip. It’s a manifesto, a mini or maxi revolution. I don’t want to leave this earth not knowing the people I love as fully as I can. I want to be known, to open up my closed-off heart and be vulnerable. I want more connection with real friends and less casual contact with acquaintances.

Poets throughout history have written about drinking deeply of this life. I am certain I’m not alone in this feeling, either now or at any other time in history. Loneliness is a human condition. We aren't in the garden with God anymore; there’s a rift that isn’t healed yet.

The only one who knows us fully is God—and we aren’t in face-to-face relationship with him right now. We live in between the garden and Christ’s return. But God lives right now, on earth, in each of us.

So let’s connect with each other and get as close to heaven as we can.

About the Author

Leanne Penny spends her days drinking coffee and chasing her two kids with her college-pastor husband in Ada, Okla. Occasionally when the kids fall asleep or decide to play with their toys she ignores the dishes and writes about her journey of hurting, healing, and choosing joy at www.leannepenny.com