You’re Not Like Me
I have a best friend who is totally the “better” friend. You know what I mean right? The kind of friend who is always more there for you than you are for them? The kind of friend who remembers special occasions, surprises you with little blessings and is just generally on your side at all times. They make you feel special and seem to see all the good qualities in you and help you sharpen yourself just by loving you.
I totally took this relationship for granted a few months ago.
We used to talk every day. Without fail I’d hear from my friend and I’d yammer on about my day. Friends like that are really good at listening without judgment or trying to make it about them. Pretty frequently I’d get little unexpected gifts from them, and of course it was usually when I wasn’t even thinking about my friend. It always seemed to magnify how self-centered I could be.
Well, a few months ago I stopped connecting with this person. It wasn’t on them either. In fact, they still reached out every day. I just always seemed to find myself too busy to reconnect. The gifts kept coming, but instead of encouraging me they really just seemed to drive home my selfishness and I sorta pulled away more out of guilt. I sometimes even trashed the gift because of the guilt it brought. I needed a friend more than anything, but I was too overwhelmed to slow down and let someone love on me.
Before I knew it I’d been disconnected for so long I started to wonder if I could ever have the same kind of relationship again. I’d squandered it for sure. I mean, I’m not exactly the most loveable person and I’d definitely proven that. I’m too self-focused and self-centered. I’m not valuable to my friend at all, and I’ve exhausted the “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” principle. What about shaming someone dozens, hundreds, thousands of times?
But here’s the thing. I got a little reminder of the joy that relationship brought. I heard someone talking about my friend and a little something in me got stirred up. It made me want to cry, and talk to them, and apologize to them… all at the same time. In hearing about them again, I realized that I was willing to risk being vulnerable for them. The relationship was way too good to avoid out of fear.
So, as I reach out to my friend Jesus again and feel the warm, tangible, comforting presence envelop me, I have to tell him, “you’re not like me… and that’s such a good thing. Thank you for your spirit of forgiveness that meets me like the robe the father gave the prodigal son. Thank you for always chasing me, but being patient when I’m too self absorbed to give you the time of day. Thank you for understanding my “overwhelm” and being my safe place to land. I’m so glad that it’s never too late to grow my relationship with you.”