Sunday, March 7, 2010

Seabiscuit friend

A friend of mine shared this with me and I identified with it so much that I asked if I could copy it down and add my own thoughts, so here goes. Her color is in red and mine in black.

When I try to picture in my mind what the perfect friendship looks like, movies such as The Mighty, The Kite Runner, Seabiscuit, Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, and Man on Fire come to mind. (Some of my favorite movies).

I have actually started to pay attention to my favorites of things, and seeing what trends I lean towards. I have noticed that 90% of my movies involve some kind of deep deep friendship, often shown through incredible sacrifice.

I was watching the kite runner, and afterwards, (while sobbing uncontrollable as is the case every time I watch it), I began to wonder aloud if these fairy-tale friendships are not much more than that--an ideal that would be wonderful in a perfect world, but is not a realistic expectation. I have friends, but after watching these kind of movies, I am always left with this incredibly deep sense of aloneness, as if there is some hole I have that is missing some crucial piece. Is it unrealistic to keep hoping and praying for a seabiscuit friend? A kite runner? A friend who would die for me? It is easy for me to look at anyone else and point out that they have those kind of friendships, but I wonder if, deep down, we all really feel like we're missing something. I would argue that everyone at some point has been let down by a friend. That everyone has been alone in an hour of need. That our kites have drifted away with no one to run them for us. There have been times that I thought I'd found that friend, that someone, that I really connected with and they liked me for who I am, and I liked them for who they were, only to find that after a time they didn't like me anymore. I was left wondering what it was I did or said that was wrong and to pick up my end of the pieces and attempt to move on.

I like to think that my friends can read my face so well that I can no longer hide my feelings, and at further prompting, I would tell them everything, and they would have time to listen, but real life isn't a movie. Children interrupt conversations, things are misunderstood or misinterpreted, or we are so different that we don't understand one another. Unlike The Mighty, I don't have an exclusive relationship with a genious who is also a social outcast, lacking the one thing that only I can provide.

Am I a fool to hope that this kind of relationship actually exists beyond the screen? Am I just playing my fairy-tale dream of having a fairy godmother and a pumpkin-turned-carriage every time I put one of these movies in?

Does anyone really have a seabiscuit friend? Maybe it's just the fact that I've had so many of those "climax" moments go by. Maybe it's that I've thought I've connected with certain people only to find that I really hadn't or that with a move of mine; whether to another state or town, the friendship "moved on" as well.

I am praying and trying to find my role in friendships and to be the kind of friend I want. If I make a mistake, big or small, I want forgiveness. If someone is telling me something that I'm not interested in but they are passionate about, I need to truly listen and try to understand, not glance at my watch or "gotta run!" If I want someone to laugh or cry with, I need to be one that is safe to laugh and cry with. These are all things I have learned from struggling, failed or good friendships. I need to be the first to forgive if an offense is made. If someone has a problem with something I am doing or saying, I want them to talk to me, not hear about it from the "grape-vine." But, I must first be careful with my speech before I expect anyone else to be careful with theirs.

I think of the Michael Card song, "Why" and it speaks of pain and betrayal and that Jesus knows exactly what I am feeling. God is there. And maybe, just maybe, He is whispering to me, "for you, a thousand times over."

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