When I was twelve I went on a school trip from South Wales to Switzerland. The journey was mainly by coach except for the short trip by ferry across the English Channel. We landed in France, making our way to Luxemburg then on to Switzerland. Some aspects of this adventure have been lost with time, some remain a little blurry and some are still clear as a bell. I don’t have any photos to look back on due to the fact that my film got exposed to light while trying to change the roll…yeah, it was that long ago.
One clear memory I have was on the return journey. We stayed overnight at Burges, in Belgium before embarking the ferry next morning to cross the English Channel. As we toured the streets of this ancient town I noticed two women doing craftwork outside a store. On further inspection I came to learn they were making handmade lace using multiple bobbins. I was fascinated at the quickness of their hands as they crossed one bobbin over the next to form an intricate pattern. Fascinated also that they didn’t get the bobbins tangled up.
Friendship reminds me of lace, it takes time and effort, one interaction at a time, one conversation at a time. It’s only as we allow ourselves to get close to each other do we become woven together into a beautiful pattern. Some people just seem to be instant friends as if they have always known each other, but even for them, true lasting friendship will only be woven through time spent with each other, talking, laughing, crying, helping, singing, dancing, praying and …. (fill in the blank) you get the picture.
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, rushing from one appointment to the next exchanging social pleasantries with those in our path. I get it, we are not going to have a deep relationship with everyone we meet. There are people who we know by face, and name when we can recall it. We greet each other with a warm smile, maybe a little small talk, asking “How’s the family?” not really expecting more than a “Oh yeah, great thanks ” as a reply. We move on to our next task in hand forever busy with things to do and somewhere down the line it hits us that we don’t have close friends, not even one.
I was with a group of women recently and one women in the group told how her two daughters had prayed for her to have friends. This woman is not a shrinking violet, she is warm and friendly with all the charm of a southern belle. She was always pleasant to those around her, yet still she felt disconnected…friendly to all but close friend to none.
So her daughters prayed, asking God to bring not just one friend but a group of friends into their mother’s life.
That was about five ago, slowly one by one the Lord connected her to other women in her church. Today, she has a handful of women that she calls, and they call her, close friend. Each woman bringing a different thread to their friendship, all of them vital to the overall pattern. I think God woven friendships are beautiful because they are created in love.
Want God woven friendships? Then pray. Ask Him just like the two daughters did.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 NIV