I just recently read Amy Grant's book Mosaic and don't even act surprised. Actually, go ahead and act surprised but only over the fact that it was written several years ago and I only just now read it.
I also just watched one of the Beth Moore DVDs in the David series. The one where she talks about friendship. It's not the one where she's wearing a gold and brown frock that almost made me spit my lunch on my laptop screen and did, in fact, prompt me to call my mother immediately to DISCUSS. There's just no in between with her. Either I love her outfit so very much that I want to move to Houston, strike up a relationship with Mrs. Wanda Elizabeth Moore herself, and then ask to borrow her clothing or I dislike it so much that I almost have to close my eyes in order to get past what she's wearing and into the heart of what she's saying.
But these two very separate things led me to start thinking about relationships. Because in Amy Grant's book she writes short vignettes and a lot of them are about things like, "We had a girls weekend at a cabin and we stayed in our pajamas until the mid afternoon sharing and laughing and drinking coffee.*" Or, "The news was so devastating that I climbed into bed with my friend and we just laid there together and cried.*" And Beth was talking about patterning our relationships after the way Christ did. She said we should have three close friends. The kind you tell everything to. The kind you stay in your pajamas until the mid afternoon with. The kind you climb into bed with to cry when the world is devastating. The rule is, they have to be CLOSE friends--as in, not living in another state.
I think I used to have that.
In fact, I know I did.
High school was like that.
I have good friends now. There are women from my past that I consider life long friends. But I'd have to fly halfway across the country to climb into bed with them and, even then, it would have to be the very most interesting situation in order to dictate, "HEY, GET INTO THE BED AND START TO CRY!" Although that has more to do with the fact that my synapses don't fire correctly. I can receive the most devastating news--the kind that will leave me crying in my own bed for days on end--but if I receive it in front of people, I'll probably shrug it off and everyone will think I'm an unfeeling stone. There's a bizarre disconnect between my heart and my tear ducts. (Seriously, I remember vividly the few times I've gone and lost it in front of people.) Then there's the fact that I'd likely stand awkwardly next to the bed, reach out my arm, pat my friend and tell her, "There, there." And everyone would just wind up feeling intensely uncomfortable.
But my whole rambling point is that I think most of us, as estrogen filled womenfolk, desire the nearness of a few friends. We want to be able to cry or laugh or get each other in a powerful and real way.
Maybe it's the nature of ministry that prevents this in my own life. I have to be incredibly careful who I share certain things with because our position within our church body is unique.
Or maybe it's my Wear-My-Heart-on-My-Sleeve-but-Also-Remain-Kinda-Private-About-Stuff personality that lends itself to a lot of friendly acquaintances but not a lot of climb into someone's bed to cry with them deep friendships.
Maybe it's the fact that ministry typically equals shallow roots. Because I just never know when the church will want to go in a different direction. Or when the Lord will say, "Getta move on." And then I'll have to start all over again with close personal friends that I can actually have face to face interaction with. You just can't cry (read: try to cry) with someone over email.
I am so thankful for the friends in my life. The ones that get my humor or, at least, laugh anyway. The ones who genuinely care about me, pray for me, love me. But is there more? And I have some really good friends. But is there something deeper that I'm missing?
If the answer is yes, I suppose I should start filling out some applications.
*Not actual quotes