Friending

photo-1461709444300-a6217cec3dffMy friend was only asking me to connect on a Saturday.

I could tell by the text that is was more of a “need” request than an “if you can” mention. Throughout the day, I received texts from five friends, each going through significant issues, each reaching out for help, including prayer.

I’m deeply invested in each of these people; I would not identify a single one of them as clingy or dependent. But needy? Yes. Of course. Aren’t we all?

We think “neediness” is a bad thing, as if relying on others reveals a character flaw. But stubbornly and proudly declaring we can do it all on our own is a character flaw. Of course, we don’t want to expect everyone else to fix all our issues; we need personal responsibility. But acknowledging a need and reaching out for support as we share a burden isn’t the same as unhealthy dependency. We don’t only choose one end of the spectrum or the other.

When my friends reach out to me, we do life together. I respond in a variety of ways – sometimes with a single text, sometimes with a card or visit, sometimes with a walk, meal, cleaning, or transportation. Regardless of my response, I connect in some way.

My friends and I connect. We share. We sacrifice. We invite each other into the tough places. We value truth. We let God guide through the short term and long term. We give, and we receive.

We friend.

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