Sunday, July 1, 2007

Good Friends - hard to come by

All my life, I've been a friendly, easy to get along with type of person. I enjoy helping others. I genuinely prefer to give rather than receive. Some think I'm stupid, some call me a sucker, others --worse.

I'm going to write about some examples here. I will not name any names to protect people's privacy. After all, this is a public blog and anybody could read it.

Several years ago I was very close to a friend from church. We did a lot of things together. When I finally met her husband, I was single at the time, he started making comments to her about how pretty I was. She told me this and said he said it so often that she finally told him to stop. Not long after that her husband would call me at work and complain about how his wife was always at church and she didn't work and that he wished she were more like me. I felt uncomfortable. After all, she was my best friend at the time. I told him wouldn't he prefer that she's in church all the time instead of at a bar somewhere.

This went on for a few days and I thought I better tell her what was going on or she would think I was out to get her husband. You know, he wasn't Christian. I thought the right, Christian thing to do was to tell her. So I did. I even gave her his pager, cell and work number as proof that he had given them to me. I told her everything he said about her. I told her that if it were me I would want to know. After telling her I would never even think about taking him up on his offer that my friendship with her was much more valuable, my best friend thanked me. Little by little she stopped calling me and when I called her she was too busy for me. Always said she'd call me back later. She never did. I miss my friend. Today, I wonder. Did I do the right thing? In my heart I feel I did. My heart, however, has been wrong sometimes.

Another friend was a lady I met when she came to a garage sale I had. She seemed really friendly, is a Christian (sometimes being a Christian is something totally different to others) and her little girl hit it off with mine right away.

This friend didn't work outside the home. She stayed at home with her two daughters. Her husband owns a car lot, one of those tote the note places. Time went by and we spent Christmas and birthdays together. She was always telling me how I should be at home taking care of the kids and not working at my job. There were times she looked down on me for that but I never said anything. I knew our finances.

She loved her house, it was very nice, it was new. I remember she was always wanting to fix this or that to make it look nicer. She was very proud of it. I always went along with whatever. One day she asked me to bring my son over, he was 13 at the time, same age as her oldest daughter. My son, being shy, only went because I made him. Little did I know. When we got to her house she wanted my son to go into the daughters room and play on their Game Cube. My son didn't want to go. He did to be polite but came out of there and asked if we could leave now. We did.

My friend told me on more than one occasion that my son was perfect for her daughter!! She commented that she wanted her to end up with him or someone like him. She kept pushing me to get him to visit her daughter. I was aghast and didn't know what to tell her. After I gathered the nerve I told her they were both too young to even go there and that when my son was old enough I would not choose who he should date.

This same friend called me up one day while I was at work. Her youngest daughter had some female problems and wanted me to pick up some medicine for her on the way home. I was at work! She was at home and could've easily gone to get it herself. I talked to my boss and told him I had an emergency and had to leave. All this for my friend. I took off two hours early from work and raced to her home after calling her and telling her I was on my way. When I got there she was gone. Her oldest daughter told me she had left and said she was going to run an errand. Not once did I get a thank you. Not once did I get an I'm sorry. She just went on about her business like nothing had happened.

I used to take her milk or sugar when she asked me for it, even though Albertsons was right around the corner from her. I cooked several meals for her and her family when she was sick. I listened to her tales of woe about her husband's running around with other women. I told her she could make it if he left. I prayed for her and I cried with her. She drained me. Someone told me she was a toxic person. She always made it clear to me that she didn't need friends. That if I never talked to her again that she would be fine. I don't know why she spoke to me like that and why she was so hurtful to me. I guess I just wasn't important enough to her to deserve her friendship. I haven't called her in two years. Neither has she. I hope she has found happiness.

Good friends are hard to come by. If you find a friend, a true friend, cherish that friendship. Somewhere I read that many people go through life with but a very few friends. I believe it. I can count my friends, true friends, on one hand. The others -- they are there for us to show them God's righteousness. We are put there for a reason. We must take that opportunity to sow the seeds of a true Christian life. We only get one chance. It is up to us to show them the right way, God's way. Now I know what Jesus meant about turning the other cheek. When I was young and stubborn I said I would never do that. I'm glad I was wrong. If either of these friends would call me again and ask me to come over. I would. It would hurt but I know in my heart I would. I cannot say no to someone in need. To everything there is a season. My season with them came to an end. As all things will, eventually.

Life is but a fleeting moment. Enjoy your friends, they are God's gift to you. Who knows how long that season will last. God Bless you, friend.


Chic Girl said...

I've been used by people I thought were my friends. It's never easy to get over. I don't know if God has anything to do with this or not. I just think some people can be selfish and not even realize what they are doing. Self-absorbed is a good word.

Rico Silver said...

Oh, yes, Chic Girl, I totally agree with you about those types of people being self-absorbed. I don't think God has anything to do with their behavior either. However, I do think God uses the bad situations like this for good. In His infinite mercy, He, I believe has taught me that even though people like that treated me poorly, there was a reason for having them in my life. What that reason truly is, I may never know. :o)