Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Real "friends" of Facebook

I have personally seen the power of friendship this weekend. Real friendship. I'm not counting the number of "friends" that I have on facebook (640). In all honesty, about 90% of my fb "friends" are actually more along the lines of acquaintances that I rarely see or hear from. It's not that this 90% are people that I don't care for, in fact, I more than likely have cared for them at some point and in some way throughout my life. But the windows of time have a way of shutting some people out of your life. Every once in a while the window may open back up and they come back in only to leave again soon.
About 7% of my fb "friends" are people that I actually interact with on a weekly basis. I see these people either at work, church, or at some point during my weekly and daily routines. These people know me a little better than the 90%. These people see my emotions, hear me speak, and no doubt, watch how I live. Mainly they see what is on the outside or what I allow them to see. They see who I want them to see but not necessarily the real me. Many of the 7% will one day go on to become part of the 90% as the windows of life begin to open for new people to come into my life and close as some leave.

Then there's the final 3% of my facebook "friends." Many of these people do not see me on a weekly or daily basis. Some I  haven't seen for months. But what separates these people from the other 97% is that these people truly know who I am. They don't just see the outside features, but they know what it is that makes me tick. Despite who I may try to show them who I want them to see, they cannot be fooled. They know when I am hurting and when I fake a smile to pretend that everything is ok. They clearly see when I am biting my tongue to keep from letting someone know how I really feel about them. They see when I am fighting back tears. The 3% are truly my FRIENDS.

As I said earlier, I felt the power of real friendship this weekend. Friday was a rough day to say the least. Em and I were hurt by someone that we had cared for and nurtured. We thought that we had done everything we could for this person to help them but apparently this person said that we had treated them "shady." It broke our hearts into a million pieces. I was angry, bitter, and sad. I was not only upset with this person for making such a ridiculous, outrageous, and untrue statement, but I was also mad at God! I knew that He was the one who had gotten me into the "situation" that I was in and now that it had all fallen apart, I chose to do take the usual human approach of blaming Him after everything had gone wrong. I didn't want to pray. I didn't want to study. I didn't want to hear anything from Him or about Him. I was in a serious funk!

God and I began to get back on better terms when I saw how He was sending people my way to heal my broken heart. Later Friday night, we went out with some FRIENDS to have a nice dinner. I wasn't in much of a mood for talking and laughing but I soon found it to be easy around people that I cared for, and more importantly, people that cared about me. We never told them our situation and they never asked. They knew something was wrong and still tried to make our evening as pleasant as possible. Real FRIENDS.

Throughout the evening I received random text messages of encouragement from more FRIENDS. God was reminding me that His power can be extended through the people that He places in our lives. I even got a phone call from a FRIEND later that night. I hadn't talked to him in quite a while but he felt that he should give me a call and check in with me. It was again, exactly what I needed, when I needed it. As my heart began to heal and the night ended I went to bed only praying a prayer to God that said "thank you."

My day on Saturday was a little bit easier. The shock had gone away and I was coming back into a more stable emotional and spiritual state. I went down to the church to do some work and after I had been there for a few hours I got a call from Emily. One of our FRIENDS was having a bad day and Em wanted us to be there for her as others had been there for us on the previous night. I immediately agreed with her that this was an opportunity from God to now help someone else.

So friendship is not just writing on someones "wall" or clicking the "like" button every time you agree with something said. Friendship is a gift from God for us. He can't always hold us when we hurt or make us laugh when we our down, but He can and He does send people our way to do those things for us when needed. So I guess, when you really think about it, God is our BEST FRIEND!