As I watch the sunrise this morning, my thoughts are focused on my friends – those who know me and love me anyway. My thoughts are filled with reflections on those friends who believe and understand that the catalyst for most of my actions and decisions are driven by a heart that cares about people in my space and a need to be a good villager. My need to be a good villager and support people around me has manifested itself in a number of ways from cooking and delivering food to families, feeding a car load of kids in my care, to “helping” a ref understand the error of his last call. My friends appreciate my sarcastic wit and indulge me with a laugh or chuckle or on a good day give it right back to me in the form of a comedic quip or a comedic punch that can bring me to my knees with laughter. I have learned that the folks who need people to “rescue” them from me are not my friends. Haha. I don’t make this stuff up. This really happened to me.
One evening I was at an event sponsored by my husband’s employer and I was engaged in a casual conversation with two ladies who I considered “friends.” Then, a third “friend” approached and whispered in the ear of one of the women who I will label “woman two.” After the whispered comment, the two of them giggled and left the group. Well, somebody was whispering like a three-year-old child because my daughter who was standing nearby overheard the “whispered” comment and told me that woman three said to her friend, woman two, that she had come to “rescue” her from the conversation. Wow! Really!! Well, who knew I had people around me who needed to be rescued? I didn’t know, but I thought of the words of Kirk Franklin, “Well if you didn’t know, now you know. Glory! Glory!” And that ladies and gentlemen is when you know someone is not your friend.
My friends know and have the courage and strength to say, “Hey girl, I need to go. I got some stuff to do” and move on with whatever they need to do. My friends move on knowing that I respect their time and their decision to spend it doing something else that doesn’t involve me. They know that I will be there when they need to involve me in their lives through text messaging, a phone call, an email, or a visit in person. My closest and most dear friends have no reservations about the depth of my concern for them or the lengths that I will go to support them if I can. Our trust in one another and the allegiances between us are mutual. Our communications feel natural and fluid and when they don’t somebody will ask, “So what’s going on with you? You ok?”
As youngsters, we tend to expect and/ or want everyone to be a friend to us. As we mature, however, we generally find and accept that everyone will not be a friend. Additionally, we learn that the word friend is used much too often and callously. People say things like, “Yeah, she’s my friend. I’ve known her for years” which reminds me of the frequency with which some people use “I love you” as the go to expression for the most sincere level of caring. Most times these expressions carry very shallow sentiment and lack sustenance. I have told my kids for years that if in their life times they can count on two hands the number of true, reliable friends they have then they should consider themselves blessed. Excellent friends are hard to come by and when you find one you should cherish that relationship for as long as you are blessed to have that person in your life.