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Long Distance Evangelization

I've known people throughout my life who were involved in long-distance relationships. They saw this person they "loved" very infrequently. I didn't understand how you can love someone you're never around. I better understand now that I live with someone.

I have a ministry. I am an “evangelist”. For most of my adult religious life, my ministry has been something I've done from a distance: writing posts for my blog, posting videos on my YouTube channel, Skyping with people from other countries, and helping people as much as possible without actually having to be around them. As the song from Phil Collins and Philip Bailey says, I enjoyed being an Easy Lover.

Long-distance love is easy because you don't have to be around the person. You don't have to deal with their imperfections and the things they do that rub you the wrong way. You don't have to compromise your selfishness except for the few intermittent times you are in the person's presence. Likewise, long-distance ministry is easy because you don't have to be among the sheep.

It's been a year and three months since I moved in with Brian. We got along very well when we didn't live together. I saw very few flaws in him, and I'd like to think he saw very few flaws in me. It was an easy friendship. Now that we live together, real friendship has the opportunity to develop if we choose to let it. But it requires compromise, sacrifice, and selflessness—things that our broken human nature and our society discourage.

Real love is bending, compromising, accepting flaws in the other and hoping for the same, washing the dish the other left in the sink, putting up with petty attitudes, and accepting that people's faith sometimes ebbs and flows. This is real love. This is real ministry.


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