Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friends, being one does not depend on the response of the person only your own.

I have had occasion to speak in depth with two of my siblings in the last week.  I don't actually hear from most of my siblings all that regularly, we are a huge family all with complicated lives and lots of things that pull us in so many directions.  My mom has also called me several times this week, I literally can't remember that last time she called me prior to this week. She is working on a surprise party for my dad's 75th birthday and had to call me to clarify the invitees several times.  It started with no adult grandkids being invited, then it was certain ones that were welcome and now I guess all the grands and greatgrands are welcome.  That makes it three interactions with my family that are out of the normal in a week, things do happen in threes.  I did enjoy the talks I had with my two siblings, it ended up that maybe they just needed some one to listen while they talked.  I am actually fairly good at that, not that most people who think I talk all the time would guess that, but I really am.  It took years of training, formally, and just learning to love people and let them tell you what they want and need from you.  I have two friends that are single ladies, one emails and one calls, that regularly just need some one to talk to.  I also have a crazy goat lady that calls once in awhile to chat, I think she is one of the loneliest people I know, sadly it has been awhile since I have heard from her.  I am rarely the initiator of these conversations because I think that they just need the freedom to contact me when they are in need.  I am not usually well received when I contact them anyway, odd but nice that they just contact me as a sounding board, sort of an anonymous person that they feel secure talking with when their worlds spins out of wack.

The Preacher commented recently in one of his messages about being a friend.  We are called to be a friend by God, to love our neighbor as ourselves.  The girls recently were advised by some one that they were to love God first, Others second and themselves last.  I am thinking the person advising them either meant, service not love, and maybe the girls messed it up, or is just biblically wrong.  I had to talk to the girls and explain J-O-Y to them.  Service to Jesus-Others-Yourself, God calls us to serve God first, others then ourselves, this is true; but God calls us to Love God first and our neighbors as ourselves.  No one can love anyone if they don't first love themselves.  I digress.  Anyway,  the message was about being a friend.  He said that being a friend is what we are called to do, the acceptance of that friendship doesn't lessen our being a friend.  That was a real starting place for me to contemplate.  I had never really thought of friendship in quite that light before.  We usually think of friendship in reference to a commitment that is equal or a mutual thing.  I had never thought of it as a one sided venture, well not in a good light anyway.  I had in my failing thought of it in the past as something that I felt I had put work into but the other side hadn't. I had felt resentment or anger at being what I felt was being unappreciated; but I never thought of it as something that I could do for others just because I want to be a friend and give friendship even if that friendship was not returned or even wanted.  It was so enlightening to think of friendship as an act of mine. not dependent upon reaction or commitment from anyone but as something I was giving just to give..... I am sure that that is what is meant by loving your neighbor as yourself but it was such a different concept that it had fallen on deaf ears for so much of my life.  To be a friend regardless, is to love your neighbor...... tomorrow.

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