Friendship

Friendship

 

I’m reading a book for review called “Never Unfriended” by Lisa Jo Baker. I thought at first, “Nah, not interested,” then the cry went out that they were low on reviewers and I thought, “Okay. I’ll read it.”

 

My mom used to complain that she never had any friends. I watched her visit with her neighbors for hours, drive to people’s homes for visits, and have people in for “coffee” or “tea” on a regular basis. I told her she was silly. She had a lot of friends! But she was basing her description of friends as the ones like her school friends. Going out to dinner, going to each others home, and basically hanging out all day long. Based on that, I can understand why she didn’t feel she had friends, but she was in a different stage of life then, as were her friends.

 

Now, I look at Mom’s friendships with her friends. They made an effort to visit each other in their homes at least once a week. They talked on the phone two or three days a week. They sent each other cards and notes in the mail. And they talked at church on Sundays (if they went to the same church).

 

When I was young I had friends the same way. We hung out in school, at church, went to camp together and talked on the phone when we weren’t together. And then we grew up, married and moved away. I made new friends in the area I lived in. We lived in the same neighborhood or attended church together and we visited each other in our homes. It was great.

 

And then women started working outside the home (or even at home) when their babies started school (and yes, this was the 90’s; some moms DID stay home until their kids started school). When we all got jobs, the phone calls stopped. Visits in each others homes stopped. We didn’t even have time for home cooked meals for our families! Grabbing something from the drive-through window at a fast food restaurant became the rule. Family time was more often than not shared with television sets and cell phones. Relationships—even family ones— disintegrated.

 

And everyone wants to know “What’s in it for me?” They don’t have time to reach out and care for others. Taking five minutes for a quick phone call is something we are too busy for. Lunch, maybe, if they are at the same time.  Visits in each others homes? Forget it. Not happening.

 

No wonder we need a book about how to be friends! We don’t know how any more!  Now, I don’t even know who my neighbors are, let alone know everyone in the neighborhood. I’ve never been in their homes. They’ve never been in mine.

 

My friend list consists of mostly complete strangers on Facebook and Twitter. We know nothing personal about each other.  Most of them wouldn’t have a clue what my favorite color is, or if I what I would order if we were to go to Sonic. They don’t know or care that I may or may not be struggling with something in my day or life (unless they read this blog).  Or that I maybe ready to shout “I quit” and run for the hills. They don’t even know that I wouldn’t have to run very far, since I live in the hills. (Ha.)

 

So today, my challenge is to reach out to someone in friendship. Say “hi” to that overworked clerk at Walmart and ask her how her day is going. Do something nice for someone. Maybe even shut the phone off and have a conversation with your family. Or call a friend you haven’t made time for. And leave a comment telling me what you did and for who (names can be changed to protect the innocent).

 

And maybe, I’ll do a kind thing too and send someone a copy of one of my books. Signed, of course. To a friend…

 

Jesus, teach us to be a friend of people as You are with us. Give us eyes to see others and their needs and to take the time to listen. Help us to take them to You, the source of life.  Amen.

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Laura Hilton About Laura Hilton

Laura Hilton lives and writes in Arkansas, surrounded by her husband and five children. The author of inspirational novels about the Amish, she is also a book reviewer. Find Laura online at: her blog or Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Wow! Your post struck a chord. It’s sad how much American culture has changed, but surely we can find a way to spend time with friends and family and make time to reach out for a new friendship.

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