Over the past few weeks I have been made aware of so many wonderful folks in my life that I count as friends. As I have interacted with people in some very different contexts and from different times in my own journey, I have been wondering about the nature friendship.
- How many close friends should one have?
- How many friends of mine would I consider close?
- What does friendship mean?
- If you only have room for 100 friends 😉 where am I on the list? AM I on the list?
- What flaws/quirks do you overlook?
- When do you speak the truth in love?
- When/how do friendships begin/end?
- How does social networking strengthen or develop friendships?
- And are friends really friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them?"*
One of the most important aspects of friendship for me is how I grow by interacting with people I trust. There are plenty of things that I have in common with my friends, but I find that the thing that separates friends from people "I just put up with" because my momma raised me right, is that I am enriched by the quirks and particularities that might otherwise be obstacles to developing a closer relationship if they were not friends. In other words, where some might see them as, "_______" those very same traits help me to further understand the wondrous complexity of God.
What I learn from my friends:
- To my friends who are a painfully honest and consider filters optional (AKA Prickly Pears) . . . thank you for reminding me that sometimes we are supposed to be painfully honest and filters sometimes are just needless justifiers for fake behavior.
- To my friends who hold back and observe ALL THE FREAKING TIME . . . thank you for reminding me that sometimes rushing out, being in front and leading some "pack" of whatever isn’t always the goal.
- To my friends that can be annoyingly hopeful and pleasant . . . thank you for reminding me that sometimes life can be hopeful and pleasant and we need to claim it more often.
- To my friends who live like politics don’t matter . . . thank you for reminding me that no amount of strategizing and political maneuvering will replace the movement of the Holy Spirit.
- To my friends who could give a rat’s behind about any of my accomplishments real or made-up . . . thank you for reminding me that my worth is not in my Doing, but in my BEing.
- To my friends that often seem like they just don’t like people . . . thank you for reminding me that people sometimes are meany McMeanies and must be treated as such.
- To my friends who like that nature stuff, are not plugged into the matrix and/or voluntarily go on silent meditation retreats . . . thank you for reminding me of the diverse ways people connect with God, and for not making me go with you 😉
- To those who also consider me a friend, thank you!
*Cue video to the cheesiest Christian song EVER . . .