New Friends

July 18, 2011

We visited with some new friends yesterday.  Maggie and Marshall invited us to their home, and we had a nice visit.  We took a walk in the countryside, sat on their porch and chatted for a while.  Marshall sat on my foot and almost broke my ankle.  Maggie kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye.  I wondered what she was thinking.

As the conversation waned, we filled their food dishes and water bowls, and left them sitting quietly in front of a silent television. I don’t think either of them can work the remote.

Marshall, the quietest by far, is a very large Golden Retriever with a great smile, and a twinkle in his eye.  He’s not fat, just very big.  Maybe the biggest retriever I’ve ever seen.  If I were in a fight, I’d want him on my side.  Maggie, the talker of the two is a Mountain dog.  She’s as big as Marshall, and almost as gentle, and she leans against those she likes, and almost knocks them over in the process.  She seems to constantly be looking for a kind word or approving pat.  She squeaks.

When we decide that friendship is worth seeking, we must make some choices.  If we only want friends like ourselves, we will end up lonely.  If we only want attractive, popular friends we will also end up lonely. (And of course, they may or may not be like us if they are attractive and popular.) If we want our friends to fit some preconceived notion of what a friend looks, sounds like or acts like we will be lonely.

I know that I have quirks and foibles that make some people laugh, and others cringe.  I know that everyone I meet will be different from me in many ways, and that is a good thing.  Expecting perfection or even homogenization is unrealistic.  Besides we would miss out on a ton-o-fun looking only for friends like us. 

In fact, when I stop to think about the friends who have been my best friends over the past couple of years they might or might not make it onto a list of what “everybody thinks” is necessary in a friend.  They are friends precisely because they really don’t care about all those artificial categories.

They care about me.   Oh yeah, and I care about them too.   A lot!

And so, although Maggie and Marshall might not fit the mold of what friends should be like, I’m sure they’ll turn out to be man’s best friends.

So for now we just need to put up with the leaning and squeaking, knowing that in some relationships we are the ones doing the leaning and squeaking.  Some of our new friends may want to tug on the leash, while others will be content to walk quietly beside us.

 

We will take friendship anyway it comes to us.  And try to be the bests friends we can in return.

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One Response to “New Friends”

  1. Sue said

    Yes, yes and YES. I love this post about friends and friendship. Freedom from needing to be popular or liked by what the crowd or who the crowd thinks is “in” is a beautiful thing. I love to befriend the oddballs, rejects and slightly irregulars that the popular or “in crowd” has deemed “undesirable” or (gasp!) damaging to their status. I believe Jesus made it a point to love and seek out the rejected, isolated and outcast. The greatest compliment I recieved this year was from a student who was not well liked by the other students and by some teachers. I didn’t say a lot, I just listened every day to stories about this and that; the adventures of a 9 year old. I didn’t judge, didn’t correct, didn’t give my “wise” words of advice, just listened. After being basically an EAR for 4 months, she told me that in the entire school, I was the only one who understood her. Really, what I did was appreciate her for who she was and how God made her. An awesome appreciation for an amazing creation.

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