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I’ve served as an usher at my church for two years ever since the previous ministry I was in merged with the usher team. So now on ever third Sunday, I get to welcome and greet people at the door and show them to their seats. When you are an usher, you really meet all sorts of people. Most are nice, polite and warm but there are some really difficult ones. It wakes me up to the sobering truth that the church is really for imperfect and broken people like you and I.

I’ve also greeted and welcomed many LGBTs into my church and I always marvel at their courage to step into a place where most people think would be hostile towards them. To me it simply shows that they love God more than the pain or fear of being rejected. And I thought their just being there is already a testimony. When many would walk past me without even a glance of acknowledgement to my greeting, they are the ones who made eye contact and returned my smile.

So when I read this from Seth’s blog this morning, I just have to share it.

To all my LGBT friends and family, I am sorry we did not love you more.

rk


If you are looking for a place to give, One Day’s Wages is good ground. It was officially launched a few months ago by Eugene Cho and his wife, Minhee. Although I do not know them personally, I have been following Eugene’s blog for a while and have a great respect and admiration for this man and his vision. Fighting global poverty seems like such an impossible task but ODW made it simple. You do not have to be a star or do big things to make a difference. Everyone can participate. All you need to do is just to donate your one day’s wage. It is that simple. 100% of your giving goes to organizations, causes and projects that deal with fighting poverty.

“The numbers (of people living in extreme poverty) are staggering but are absolutely real. Behind each number is a human being: a mother, father, sister or brother. While ODW is not a religious organization, we are compelled by our faith and conviction that human life is sacred and precious. 3 billion people live on less than US$2/day. 1.4 billion people live on less than US$1.25/day – the definition of those who live under the condition of “extreme global poverty.” – ODW

www.onedayswages.org Go check it out now.

rk

I read with interest a recent blog entry by Seth Barnes on Women and Covenantal Relationships. There was a discussion on why women struggle for covenant. A covenant friend is more than just a best friend with whom we share secrets and hang out with often. The friendship between the biblical David and Jonathan is a powerful example of the kind of friends that covenant people are. Their hearts were knitted together; they became one in spirit, much like what a marriage covenant is like. Each loved the other as himself and was willing to lay down his life for the other. In today’s context very few of us will find ourselves in situations where we have to literally sacrifice our life for our friend.

What are some other characteristics we can expect to find in such relationships? Surely, loyalty is one of them. Jonathan was willing to jeopardize his position as heir to the throne, putting his friendship with David ahead of his blood relation with his natural father, King Saul. He remained steadfast to his friend and came to his defense when confronted by his envious and hatred-filled father. The Bible recorded that Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul (when David wasn’t even present). One of the true tests of loyalty is how we speak about our friend in his absence. We don’t want a friend who is full of understanding and nice talk in our presence but says something quite the opposite about us to others when we are not around. Do our words betray our friend?

Another mark of covenant friendship is trust. In order for any relationship to flourish, there must be trust. In today’s “each person for his own” world we are repeatedly told and taught to look out for ourselves. Having experienced too many hurts in life, we enter into relationships with caution instead of trust. In an environment of doubt and skepticism, it is difficult to find or build trust. But that was not true of David. He trusted Jonathan with his life. His friend had told him to hide behind a rock while he went to Saul to “access David’s fate” and return to him with the report. Although that left David all alone and in an extremely vulnerable position, David trusted his friend and did as he was told. For two days, there was no communication between them as David waited. Do you think David might have had second thoughts about his friend’s intentions or loyalty? Do you think he might have panicked a little, tossed and turned in his sleep as the days went by without a word from Jonathan? No, David was calm and at peace the whole time because he knew his friend would never betray him. When we trust someone, we have confidence that this person will look out for us and will act in a manner that is beneficial to us.

The other quality that a covenant friendship has is shared vulnerability; that both parties are willing to let their guards down. It is only when we perceive there is safety that we’re willing to make ourselves vulnerable. In the safety of such friendship we can be open, real and honest with each other. There is no need to hide, no ugly secrets to keep, no ego to protect. We need not worry that our friend will judge us, tell on us, manipulate us or intentionally hurt us in any way. We read in 1 Samuel 18 that upon meeting David on his return from the battlefield, Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. Jonathan gave David his weapons, his protection, things that make him feel safe. He realizes that he is safe with David; that he can let down his guard and be completely vulnerable with his covenant friend. Many of us are too afraid to let our guards down. To open ourselves up to others exposes us to the risk of rejection, abuse and betrayal. But a covenant friend does none of these things. They know all about us and still accepts us. They always seek our highest good and never betray confidences. When we express vulnerability we are putting ourselves in the hands of others. To be able to be vulnerable is to feel safe.

Feeling safe in a relationship leads to honesty. David and Jonathan did not see eye to eye on everything but they were able to talk about them with complete honesty and reality. Theirs wasn’t a friendship where they just sat around exchanging nice thoughts of appreciation to each other and keep to safe topics of conversation. They did not shy away from difficult issues or but were able to tell each other how they felt with no holds barred. When faced with a disagreement, they did not threaten with withdrawal of their friendship. Within the boundary of their covenant, they knew that no matter what came between them, they would always work things out. Violating the covenant between them was never an option.

Finally, this brings us to the issue of accountability. I personally feel that accountability is extremely lacking in many friendships today. Everyone wants to be liked and loved. Nobody is willing to rock the boat of their friendship by confronting their friend with issues they suspect might create some tension. Only two kinds of people are able to do that – a careless person (because he just doesn’t give a damn how you feel) and a very secure person (because he is able to handle any negative reaction). Yet accountability is extremely vital to our personal growth if being a better person is our goal. Personally I have not found a friend who is able to be that person in my life and I realize how desperately that impoverished me. I don’t want my ego stroked, I need someone who is secure and love me enough to be brutally honest with me when I am out of line. I need someone to challenge me to be a better person. Yet that will not happen until my friend feels safe enough to be open and honest with me. Trust, acceptance, honesty and accountability – they won’t work without the other. For some reason, I find that women today are sadly unprepared when it comes to holding each other accountable. Perhaps we have had too many disappointments in life that robbed us of our trust and security. This is perhaps the reason why cyber friendships are growing so rapidly. There isn’t much to be accountable for if nobody knows the real person behind the nick.

Being in covenant with a friend can be messy business but it is one of few true blessings you can ever find this side of heaven.

May we all find our own Jonathan in our life and may we be a true David to him/her.

 

Rk

Related posts
The story of David and Jonathan
Inside a Pilgrim’s Heart
CyberFriends

Recommended reading
Treasured Friends by Ann Hibbard

Last week a few of us finally came to a decision to suspend our bimonthly prayer meetings at the office. The reason? Well, there were several. It is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I feel that our prayer meetings are not serving it’s purpose the way each of us have initially envisioned. I suspect a few others felt the same way too but since no one brought it up, I thought I should. Either we discuss them openly or we keep going round in circles.

These are some areas which I feel we should think about before starting a small group in the future.

  1. It is quite difficult to form a group for the sole purpose of prayer alone. We will eventually find it dry and boring. That’s likely because we don’t feel a personal connection with the things and people we pray about. This is quite different from intercessory groups made up of “prayer warriors” who are especially gifted in intercession (see below for a clearer description) and are called into the ministry. We need to identify the main purpose of our group and make sure everyone understand what it is before they commit themselves.
  2. So this means that, if our group is gonna focus on intercession, we need people who are passionate about prayer and are committed. Usually such people already have a sense of sense their gifting and calling. I don’t think such a person exists yet within our group. And that’s alright. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. All of us are gifted differently and called to serve God in different ways.
  3. Therefore, if a group like ours were to continue we will need more than prayer alone. Over at our group, we do sharing as well. By that I mean we talk about what God is doing in our life, our struggles and also our blessings. Somehow it’s all getting a little mechanical and obligatory now. Honestly, I feel that the reason for this is because we try to put together a group of people who hardly know each other apart from work and expect them to share about their life as part of the “fellowship”. This could be a problem because people will not open up and be real unless they know they can trust each other and know that they will be accepted without judgement. Trust and acceptance don’t grow overnight. So what am I trying to say? I’m saying that no small group will thrive well if there is no real fellowship. Friendship bonds are what motivates people to stay in “small groups” where we feel connected and are part of a small family, within a big spiritual family. There are many in such groups who are just getting on with the program without genuine interest in each other’s life. It cannot work that way.
  4. With that in mind, I’d also say that part of the reason why people are reluctant to share prayer request is because it’s a very private thing. When we ask for prayer we are sharing something personal. Not everyone is ready and willing to do so. Even if we know of a co-worker who needs prayer we are not free to share it during such meetings because our friend trusted us to keep it confidential. In an office environment, this can be tricky. So general prayers work better in such groups. For more personal ones, I suppose all of us would prefer to do it with a trusted friend or a spiritual mentor.
  5. Finally, I think it’s perhaps better if a few people who already have an established friendship, who share a common vision and at the same time felt led by God to fulfill that vision, to come together and work towards that vision; be it prayer, worship , support or bible study. Until then, we can’t form a thriving group.

These are just some of my own observations and thoughts. Our prayer group lasted over a year and I am glad for the opportunities to learn and grow and get to know each other better. Most of my fellow group members were actually relieved that we’re giving this a break.

rk

The gift of intercession referred to above is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis on behalf of and for others, seeing frequent and specific answers to their prayers, to a degree much greater than that expected of the average Christian. These people have a continuing sense of responsibility to pray for people and situations. Prayers for others is considered a Christian vocation – we are all to do it. But some people are gifted in such a way that their “prayer channel” seems to be uniquely static free.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your church every Sunday? What does it feel like to be part of the team instead of a just spectator? Last Sunday, I had the honor and privilege of serving God for the first time in a church setting. I was scheduled to help prepare the elements of the Lord’s Supper. Over at our church, celebrating the Lord’s Supper is a weekly affair. Until last Sunday, I did not realize how much coordination and teamwork was required to ensure everything runs smoothly for 2 thousand people on 3 separate floors over 4 services. We had to work with a very diverse group of people; from doctors to business people, grandmas to teenagers. It was heart warming to see everyone doing their part out of a heart of thanksgiving and honor to God. Running a megachurch (a little on that later) is like running a huge organization. There are many details to take care of. We need that kind of structure in a large church or else there will be chaos every week. At the same time we must not be too caught up with the externals to the extent that we loose touch with individual lives and with God. So there must be priority and balance. The person who heads the running of such a church has a tremendous responsibility. When you consider the fact that the majority of these people are volunteers of such diverse groups, you’ll be amazed when things runs smoothly week in and week out. And you’ll know there is no way this can happen in the natural, except by the grace of God.

I do not like the way some people use the word “megachurch”. There is nothing wrong with the word but it has been used mostly in a disparaging way by people who feels that size, good organization and prosperity should not be synonymous to a church. In the past, I would feel a strong urge to defend my church because I know the good that God is doing through the church. In the past I also feel the need to defend my God to scoffers. There was this tendency to want to explain. But God has since shown me that He does not need my defense. He is bigger than any accusations, criticism or doubts. And if his blessing is upon a particular church, whether it is a megachurch or a house church, nothing will prevail against it.God uses different churches to meet different needs.

rk

A friend of mine was at the Expo train station over the weekends on her way to her office, a 10 mins walk away. I received her feedback the next day.

“….it’s so disgusting. The place is so packed. Worse than normal rush hour traffic. How annoying. And those people look like they’re trying to compete with each other. The way they dress I mean. That’s not the way to dress for church.” she complains, shaking her head in disapproval.

Two of Singapore’s largest churches have relocated their main services to the Singapore Expo Halls due to lack of space in their own premises. As a result, human traffic has increased 10 fold every Sunday at the, otherwise quiet, Expo vicinity.

I was somewhat disappointed with her observation and remark. Although I am not from these churches, they are nevertheless part of my spiritual family and so I naturally feel the sting when someone passes judgement on them. It’s sort of like a protective reflex members of a family possess. I know among this huge crowd and dressy individuals, are people of integrity, love and grace, whose main desire and purpose for being there is to praise and worship God. They might not fit our idea of what a religious person should look like but that does not make them any less spiritual or devoted. Being religious does not equate devotion. You can dress the part without a care for God and the things of God. What is more vital is the fruit that a person bears. And that is something we can’t know till we know their heart. Certainly not by judging from their outward appearances. I do not deny there are some within that group, or any congregation for that matter, that dishonors the name of the God they serve. It is unfortunate and unfair that the entire church had to bear the shame. It could be out of ignorance that we judge people this way. As a nonbeliever, my friend might not have understood the ways of God – that God does not accept us based on externals, that the only reason these people could be part of His family is by His grace, and that His family are made up of all sorts of people at different stages of spiritual development. To an outsider, they can be an unruly and spoilt brood. But God loves them nonetheless and continues to receive them just as they are. In time, His love will transform them. So I can understand where my friend is coming from and thus be able to excuse her.

But what happens when a member of our family betrays us? I had been foolish to share my friend’s observation with a fellow believer of a different church, thinking she’d understand how I feel being from the same spiritual family. But this was her response. I’ve paraphrased them for the sake of those not familiar with the Singapore lingo.

“…but of course, it’s a well known fact that your church people are all very hiao (a crude word for vain in dialect),” she said, self-satisfied.

I was shocked and hurt. I didn’t expect her to be so careless with her words and so severe in her judgement. I reminded her that I am not from these churches but I am nevertheless bothered when people talk bad about them. Her next response was just as swift.

“…..oh please, New Creation (my church) people are just as hiao.”

At that point I know I should have kept my mouth shut. In the same breath that she judges my immediate spiritual family, she told me not to take my friends comments to heart for it was out of ignorance and not intention. Does that make hers intentional then, since she can’t claim ignorance? I felt betrayed. Misunderstood. Hurt. If criticism is needed, then let it be constructive and motivated by love. Not in blatant, self-righteous fashion that does nothing but deepen the division of the church. What God plans to do in another person’s life, and how that other person lives out God’s plan, is the business only of God and the other person. We are to encourage and help others as they fulfill God’s purpose in their lives, but we are not the creator, originator, manipulator, or policeman of that plan and purpose. God is fully capable of dealing with each person individually. If we do not stop the “my church is my church, yours is yours” mentality and start seeing all of us as one body of Christ, we’d not only grieve the Lord, who is the head of the universal church, but also play right into the Devil’s schemes – that is to cause division within the body of Christ. As a family, we should standby one another. The church is to be a place of acceptance – not acceptance of sin, but certainly acceptance of sinners. It is be a place where a person can be appreciated for being a child of God and a special creation of God.

It is common for fallen human nature to stereotype and judge. All of us are guilty of it. But it has to stop, especially for those who have known and receive the grace of God. The greatest tragedy in all this is not only that we become blind to our own faults as we’re too busy throwing stones – but also that God is made invincible, to believers as well as the world.

And the Devil and his minions will be celebrating in Hell.

rk

When I became a Christian, I discovered many things. My eyes were opened for the first time and life finally makes some sense. But no one told me a pilgrim’s journey can be a very lonely one. Especially so if you’re living among people other faiths. Among my close friends, only one shares the same spiritual family as me. This is my 6th year in the Kingdom. My church has a 12,000 member congregation. I think it odd that the majority of my friends are nonbelievers. If you are a Christian, you probably know the kind of ache associated with that. I know part of the reason is because I do not attend a cell-group. And with a church of that size, intimacy is a huge challenge. And of course, my own private nature is not helping the situation either.

I have passed the phase of actively seeking friendship. Real friendship, just like any kind of relationship, is a lot of hard work. You can’t just leave it unattended and expect it to grow. I would much rather spend time nurturing the friendships I have now than to seek new ones. For some strange reason, God has surrounded me with a large number of non-believing friends. My non-believing friends are wonderful people. I cherish their friendship and thank God for them. But there are times when I wish there are more friends whom I can relate to spiritually and vice-versa. And again, if you are a Christian you know at the moment of your spiritual birth, something else happens besides salvation. You receive a new pair of lens and with it, a brand new way of looking at life and the world around you. You interpret and recreate all of life’s experiences through that lens from then on. I don’t know if this is the experience of every believer but it was for me, at least. So I now relate to the world and people around me differently than I would before I was saved. And that sort of poses a problem because I realize that my worldview is now in conflict with the majority of my friends. It can get frustrating and lonely sometimes, going against the grain. Our joys, pains and struggles means very different things from our non-believing friends. Our interests, goals and passions and the decisions that we make everyday are all shaped by our worldview. It is difficult therefore for those outside to fully comprehend them. Sometimes, we feel misunderstood. It’s just like how the gospel is good news to some but foolishness to others.

If you’ve lived in a foreign land long enough, you probably will have some idea how it’s like. You love your homeland. There are so many things you want to share about your beautiful homeland. You want to gush about the food, the places and the people, their passion and their way of life. The locals in the foreign land are polite and would listen to you sometimes. Some might even be impressed with your stories but you know there is so much more which you cannot express with words alone. Can they ever appreciate or get excited about it the way you do? It is something you feel they have to experience for themselves to know. This is pretty much how I feel most of the time. Like an alien in a foreign land.

And so we wish and hope there would be someone who can identify with our feelings and thoughts and care about the things we care about. Maybe even someone who shares the same vision and passion as us. Everyone wants that don’t they? Whether they are Christians or not. Everyone wants a soul mate. Finding one within the Kingdom itself is more difficult than you think. What more in a foreign land.

If the day ever comes that I should find such a mate, I think I’d be so undone.

rk

I think part of the reason why Christians might feel isolated even within our own kind is because in our sincere desire to bear a good testimony to the Lord we have forgotten to be real. We become too serious, too spiritual, too careful, too unreal, turning off everyone including ourselves. We have created a subculture and community of our own and unconsciously separating ourselves from our neighbors. I know as Christ’s redeemed ones, we are set apart unto God. I am not advocating that we should abandon that and live like the rest of world. Or that we should not gather among ourselves to encourage, feed and serve one another. Certainly not. But we have to learn to live out our faith among our neighbors. It is not going to be easy but it is certainly possible. How else are we going to be salt of the earth if we just keep to ourselves?

I mentioned in an entry early this year that a couple of us in the office is starting a prayer meeting during lunch hour. It’s coming to 5 months now and still going strong. We have more people in the group now than when we first started.

Ours is a strange combination because we are from different churches and occasionally a non-believer would pop in to check us out. With such a combination, there are bound to be difference of views and doctrines. More on views, I would say, than serious doctrine clash. At times, I can’t help but feel out of place due to my unorthodox beliefs. Haha….so I tend to stick out like a sore thumb sometimes. But they were all kind and gentle enough not to make me feel too awkward.

I have been with my church ever since the day I converted. I wasn’t saved in this church but started attending it the week after my conversion and have stuck with it since. Strange, I know. Most people would be attending the church they got saved in. But hey, NCC got me addicted to Jesus and I thought that’s cool enough for me to want to stay. In this 5 years, I began to realize as I interact with people from other churches and as I explore the writings of other Christian thinkers, that my church can be quite different on certain issues. Nothing too serious but enough to stand out like a sore thumb during sharing time with other believers. I do not always agree with my church’s views but they sure got at least one (actually there are much more) crucial thing right and that is, the message of grace. Pastor preaches it the way it is in the Bible. No watering it down. It is such a life transforming and liberating message. That in itself is enough to keep me hooked. And our dear pastor, for the life of me, I couldn’t quite figure out how he managed to preach 4 services back to back every Sunday and yet exhibit the same fiery passion in all his preaching. One can’t help but catch some of that vibe.

Besides being the odd one out, I also struggle with praying for one another in the group. I do not attend a cell-group like most Christians do due to family commitments. So I am seriously lacking in practice of praying aloud for each another. Most times I feel really stupid after praying for my co-workers. My words seem to get all tangled up with my thoughts. But despite feeling like an utter loser and a fool, I will not let this stop me from praying. God is the target of my prayers. As long as he knows what I mean, that’s all that really matters. And God always know what we mean. Even before we speak. Thank heavens!

Despite the differences we have and feelings of inadequacy, we are still very much committed to meeting up every fort night as the universal body of Christ, to share and encourage one another. And I think this is something truly awesome. That a diverse group of people, each with their own shortcomings, weirdness but also beauty are drawn together in fellowship by that one person, Jesus Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – St Paul

Sadly, the present day church still falls short of this vision. May it be a reality one day, even as the Head is returning soon.

rk


Sylvanian Family 009
Originally uploaded by allysa.

Recently I bought my daughter a set of Sylvanian Families for her 4th birthday. These little miniature families never fail to capture my heart. They and their cosy cottage homes, apron clad moms busying themselves in the kitchen while her little ones plays in the yard. If you’ve seen them displayed in the stores, you’ll know what I mean. They have their own school, hospital, bakery and almost everything imaginable. Together, they form a community of their own. Very much separated from the real world. In our world where dysfunctional families are the norm and neighbors are strangers, these little creatures give us a glimpse, in their own way, of the ideal family and community life that we all yearn for. Where mommys are mommys, daddys are daddys, children are children and neighbors are friends. They show us that the challenges of living together need not be something to be feared or avoided but rather provide the opportunity for us to build a home not of bricks & mortar but of love and commitment. It is in overcoming the daily odds together that makes a family a family.

It is odd that I should be speaking on the subject of family when my own is dysfunctional, at least that is what I think. Knowing my relationship with my husband will make a believer out of you. A believer in the the sanctity of divorce. I am quite surprised therefore, that we have not travelled that road. I wonder what might become of us and the children if we did. Will it be for the better? or is this the better? My sister-in-law who survived her husband’s affair thought ours is a problem of communication. Surely not something beyond salvation or at least as damaging as an affair. While she might be right, I couldn’t help wonder if an affair is more of a threat than two individuals who bring out the worst in each other. See, that is our problem. We make devils out of one another. Definately not conducive for a Sylvaninan-type family don’t ya think?

rk

Just when I was thinking of blogging again after a long break and wasn’t quite sure where to start, I received via email, a neat piece about friends. A smile broke across my face. That’s it. Friends. I shall write about friends.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll probably know that friendship was the theme for me last year. And I’ve written quite a bit on it. So why write about it again? Because learning is a process. Our perspective changes over time. What I thought was the rational thing to do then might seem childish now and what I think is the loving thing to do now might seem silly a year from now. Not that I’m regretting any of it. I just follow my heart at a given moment. If I mess up, I mess up.

There is this friend whom I’ve been corresponding with for a while. Our friendship grew out of the turmoil in her life then. She was going through an extremely difficult time and needed an outlet (at least that was what I thought). And I was there. With all the time in the world. So it made good soil for a new friendship to grow. We never really see much of each other. It was not because we were limited by space. We just, well, felt more comfortable communicating through electronic mail and other technological devices. It is strange to see how human relationship develops in such a manner. Cyber-friendships we call them. Well, to be accurate we were not exactly cyber-friends. We do see each other and share things face to face occasionally. But most of our serious conversations are carried out the new age way. Perhaps the absence of physical presence provided a certain barrier to our personal space which all of us guard with a vengeance. We have more control over how much of ourselves we want to reveal. We hide certain part of ourselves behind our words. We use them to camouflage our emotions. Body language has no opportunity to interfere.

Ironically, the barrier that saves guard our personal space also provided a platform for freedom of expression and genuine self revelation. We can be who we really are because there is little self-image to protect. This is why I think blogging is so popular. A place where we can be real and not worry about being judged is like a breath of fresh air to our suffocating soul. But if you’ve been blogging for a while, especially if you have provided a section for people to leave comments in your blog, you’ll soon realize that your so called “refuge” is an illusion. What people say still matters to you, be it strangers or people whom you know. They are not suppose to matter. But they do. Don’t ask me why. They just do. At least for me. Even RLP, my favorite blogger, falls victim to it. You can read all about his painful encounter here and here.

So I guess the message behind such a condition is that there is no escape. We are created for relationships. We have a deep need to connect. People matters to us.

Our friendship was doing pretty well. I was surprised to find myself sharing much more than I thought I would. I guess in some ways we regarded each other as a secret escape, like our online journal. No strings attached. Just pure outpouring of our innermost thoughts. It was a pretty, well …… safe sort of friendship that we had. Until one day, I decided to step out of the safety zone and bring it a step further to the wild waters of real friendship. Just as victory does not come without a fight, true and deep friendship is born out of overcoming many real issues together. That’s my belief. It is not only about carrying each others load but also of sharing the ordinary, the mundane and of course, the happy things in our life. It wasn’t because what we had was not sufficient or satisfying. I just wanted, wanted…..to have something deeper than an exchange of words and thoughts. To be able to share in other ways.

I wanted to bring together both the elements safety and transparency while respecting our individual boundaries. During the first transition period, I made a mess of it. I wanted too much too quick. I wanted to be all things to her. The ideal friend, you know what I mean. And I could sense her withdrawal. Maybe I came on too strong or the change was too sudden. I was crushed. Big time. For a moment things were a little awkward. But I am glad we hanged on in spite of it.

That was quite sometime ago. We are now pretty comfortable with where we are. I enjoy and treasure the times when we are able to meet. When we can’t, there is still the technology to connect us. So I am just gonna go with the flow and take things as they come. Don’t wanna push it too hard. I am learning to enjoy the ride.

So, yeah…..things are looking great!

rk

This is the friendship piece that I received. Enjoy.

TO THE WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY CIRCLEWhen I was little, I used to believe in the concept of

one best friend, and then I started to become a woman. And then I found

out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in

many friends.

One friend’s best is needed when you’re going through things with

your children. Another friend’s best is needed when you’re

going through things with your mom. Another when you want to shop,

share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say let’s pray together, another let’s

cry together, another let’s fight together, another let’s walk away together.

One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your

shoe fetish, another your love for movies, another will be with you

in your season of confusion, another will be your clarifier, another the

wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on

whatever the occasion, on

Whatever the day, or where ever you need them to meet

you with their gym

shoes on and hair pulled back or to hold you back from

making a complete fool of yourself … those are your friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many

it’s wrapped up in several … one from 7th grade, one from high school,

several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, several from

church, on some days your mother, on others your sisters, and on some days

it’s the one that you needed just for that day or week that you needed

someone with a fresh perspective, or the one who didn’t know all your

baggage, or the one who would just listen without judging… those are good

girlfriends/best friends

I thank my girlfriends, those who honor intimacy,

those who hold trust,

and those who hold me up when life is just too heavy!

The special bond we share is unique.

Thanks for the words we’ve shared. The prayers we’ve

sent up. The laughs, the tears, the phone calls, the emails, the shopping,

the movies, the lunches, the dinners, the talking, talking and the listening,

listening, listening….

So whether you’ve been there 20 minutes or 50 years, I

love you! Thank you for being my friend…..

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