Let me clarify. Most people have other people in their lives they consider friends. However, we do have all different level of friends and we can usually make that distinction based on how well we know others. How long have we known them, how did we meet, who do we have in common, WHAT do we have in common, where do they live, how far away…etc.
Here is my list of how “friends” line up in my life.
- Acquaintances: These are people from work or school or church that you know well enough to say Hi to, even smile at and have a brief conversation. “Hey, how are you?” (and mean it) “How is the family? Your Aunt Sue who is in the hospital, your daughter away at college, your dog who was sick last week?” You actually do care enough about them to want to know the answers to these questions. However, they may or may not be someone you would want to spend a good deal of time with or have over for dinner. We usually have quite a few of these in our lives if we are involved in a work place, church or go to school.
- Old friends: These are the people who are still in your life from school, childhood, the street you grew up on or maybe you knew in your first neighborhood when you got married. Somehow, you have managed to stay in touch over the years. You call each other on birthdays (or text now days), send Christmas cards, wedding and graduation invitations. You make a little more effort to see them if you are in the “neighborhood” but you could go months or even years without being together. You may have even been very close at one time, but no longer have much in common. But you care about them and as long as someone is making the effort, you stay in touch.
- Good friends: This can be someone you have met recently or someone you have known for a long time. There is more effort involved. You talk once a week, check on each other often if there are specific life events going on and you may be the one who goes to sit with them in the hospital or take care of their kids, pets and or house when they are out of town or need you. You can talk to them about some things but you still may not tell them anything real specific or pour your heart and soul out to them. You do spend time together and see each other as often as schedules permit.
- Very good friends: This is who you call when someone has had a baby, passed away, been in an accident or gotten ill. You know they will do most anything for you and pray for you and whatever situation you are in. They are there for you to lean on and will love you through your heartache and your happy moments. They are happy for you in good times and sad for you in hard times. However, you may keep certain intimate details away from them. And this person may not even live close by. But even if you go a long time without seeing each other or talking, when you do get on the phone or see one another, nothing has changed and you can pick up right where you left off as if it were a week ago.
- Best friends:
*This is the one you call to “MOVE A BODY”! For instance-your mother is in town visiting, she is an alcoholic and somehow you have managed to keep this burden from your child. Mom has come over and is passed out on the couch and your child is about to come home from school. This is not something you are equipped to deal with at the moment. You call your friend and have them come over to help you move your mother to the guest room while she sleeps it off. * (fictitious story!)
These are the ones you let in. There are usually only one or maybe two of these people in our lives. This is who you call when your marriage is falling apart, your daughter has gotten pregnant, your son is getting married, your pregnant @ 43 and totally freaked out! You got fired at work…your spouse got fired at work. Someone at church said some hurtful things and you are mad at them. You know whatever you tell them stays within the walls. There is no judgment and no one saying “I don’t have time to talk to you. You want WHAT again? Didn’t you just do that last week? Why didn’t you listen to me the last time this happened?” You also know in your heart they will do anything for you and pray for you and whatever situation you are in. They are there for you to lean on and will love you through your heartache and your happy moments. They are happy for you in good times and sad for you in hard times. There is complete TRUST!
These are the most rare people and the hardest ones to hold on to if we ever find them. Because we, as humans, are very judgmental. We have a very difficult time letting people get close enough to hurt us. If we have been hurt enough times, we will usually keep others at a distance. We may not have a best friend…or maybe not one anymore because the last one hurt us.
Trust is a hard thing to find and hold on to. Some of us have been hurt so many times and so badly, we do not let anyone in because we just expect everyone to hurt us. When we have had our hearts, mind, bodies and spirit broken so savagely it is understandable why these walls get built. It is a human reaction for self preservation. Unfortunately the walls not only keep the bad stuff out, it keeps the good stuff out too. It is tough to heal from brokenness. It is hard to get better and put the proverbial pieces of our hearts back together when they have been smashed to smithereens……but it is possible to do. We have to ask for help. We have to trust again. We have to reach out to God and ask for healing. All of these things are hard to do. But it can be done. I am a living, breathing example and I have a friend I can call to “move a body!” 🙂
So my question today: Who do YOU call to “move a body?”