Friendship. Friendship is another word (like love) that has been slowly hollowed out until it means nothing. It should mean rich companionship; a trust, and a knowledge of one another. “It is not good for man to be alone.” these words are applicable in more ways than one. I don’t think God was talking about an empty ‘best friends forever’ when he said that, and I don’t think he was talking about simply being with and around people. You can be with and around people and still be utterly and completely alone. I’ve been there, I should know.
It’s been a long hard battle. I couldn’t tell you exactly when it started, this need for friends, but I can tell you that it did. I can tell you that I prayed for God to send me the right people for years and years. There were several failed attempts: it’s hard to be close friends with someone who lies to you, it’s hard to be foster a friendship with someone who is constantly running and doing. The longing persisted. Just because I started going to school didn’t mean I made friends. When people asked me if I had friends at school I’d usually tell them no, but I had a lot of acquaintances. There was one friendship that grew before I went into the school system:someone I had known for years. We became close acquaintances, and then miraculously we were friends. I looked forward to seeing her every Sunday at church. Bear hugs during greeting time, talking about our lives, sometimes she’d share her writing with me via e-mail mid-week. Two years with her. Every Sunday we’d sit in the front pew, talk during VBS, e-mail occasionally. She’s in college now. We’re still good friends, I miss her so much. After watching last years senior class graduate I have decided that I hate seniors (don’t take this too literally, it’s called sarcasm) you get to know and care about them and then they disappear.
About mid-schoolyear the first year there was someone else…he left at the end of the school year. Another person towards the beginning of this schoolyear, another guy, another senior, but even though we see each other frequently still we never have time to talk anymore. An aquaintence I made last year really started opening up on the bus the one day, I think another friendship is blossoming. It’s not making friendships that I struggle with; it’s maintaining them. I don’t have a facebook, I’m not on twitter, chances I’ll see you and actually have a chance to talk are pretty slim. That’s why I’ve always liked buses, all of the above friendships (minus the first one in the last paragraph) have been made on them. I also seem to make friendships with guys more easily than girls. The whole drama thing is not my cup of tea.
I don’t have an answer to this. I don’t know why God keeps choosing to bring these people into my life only to tear them away again. I try to live with open hands, I’m not very good at it, but this hurts deep. I ask why, but I never seem to get an answer…well unless you count last night. Last night I was reading Jeremiah chapter 20, in which (among other things) Jeremiah curses the day he was born, and asks God why he has to have such a terrible life. God didn’t answer. In the next chapter you see Jeremiah delivering another unwanted message. God didn’t answer, but in a way He did: Jeremiah’s purpose was to prophesy for Him. But what is my purpose? To make friends only to lose them? To reach out to the empty, striving, and seeking and show them someone really cares? I don’t know. It’s been a long hard battle, and it is not yet done. I continue to attempt to trust God in what He is doing, I continue to try to make more than aquaintances. Maybe someday I’ll look back and understand the why.