I value friendship. A lot. I value trust. A lot. I value being known. A lot. I value grace. A lot. And all of these things fold together for me when it comes to my best friends.
However…I am a complete asshole when it comes to maintaining long distance friendships. I hate talking on the phone. No, really…with a passion, I hate talking on the phone.
I don’t have a ton of extra rubles to spend on getting to the places they live. And it’s not that I don’t consider it a priority, it’s that time gets away from me. Completely dissipates.
Before landing in Chicago on Wednesday, it had been two and a half years since I’d seen my college roommate in person. That’s just wrong. I am a complete asshole!
It’s horrible, because I value our friendship more than my actions show. But if the actions are lacking, and your voice isn’t communicating…how do they know we actually put value in their friendship?
We’ve come to a place in this world when Facebook trolling for information equals a ‘friendship.’ That’s not friendship! Friendship is messy. Friendship is knowing how I take my coffee…or other liquids of choice. Friendship is knowing what my response will most likely be about things I am passionate about. Friendship is conversation, actual dialogue about real life things. Its hard. It entails trust, and putting yourself out there. Sometimes it goes sideways and you have to work through crap together. But honestly the friendships that endure are the ones that last. And thankfully I have several!
But that’s also where the grace comes in…and no matter how much time has passed the jokes are still present. The ease of hanging out is still comfortable, and we are still known by someone who counts. Someone who can appreciate the path God has taken you on just as much as you can. Someone who knows the stupid shit you did, completely sober!
The Bible talks about being known by God in Psalm 139…it’s a beautiful Psalm, and it came to my attention through one of my best friends in one of the biggest struggles my life. As intimately as God knows each one of us, its that bond that runs through the truest friendships we have. And once that bond is engaged…there’s not much you can do to cut it. Because through that bond runs God’s mercy…grace…love.. compassion and community.
Sometimes that bond has to help carry a friend when they feel beaten up by life. The don’t know what to believe. When faith has become exhausting. I’ve always loved the story when Jesus is teaching to a very crowded room, and a paralyzed man is lowered through a roof by his friends. In that moment, Jesus doesn’t say why are you breaking someone’s home. No, Jesus says HIS faith has saved him. The Bible says Jesus saw THEIR (his friends) faith…forgives the man. If you can’t lean on your friends, who can you lean on!?!?
I cherish being known, and my best friends are the ones that know my good, bad and ugly…and love me anyway! And I do my best for that to be a two-way road…but we all epically fail sometimes and grace jumps in to say, ‘It’s OK!’
Today I am so incredibly grateful for time spent with friends, long and short distances, this Spring. Go tell AND show a friend you care! And just to recap…Facebook does NOT count!