Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Friends Go Away

'Bff' photo (c) 2010, Texasbubba - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
I miss my friends.

Jason has been traveling a lot over the past few weeks. Tina lives far away. Jon hasn't been playing at church lately. Rich is leading worship at a new church. Kit is finding a different church closer to her home.

I miss my friends.

During these seasons, my instinct is to get all weepy, consume too much wine and Ben & Jerry's, and curl up in my bed.

I like hanging out with my peeps, but I really like it when it's easy to hang out with them. When it gets complicated, well, I don't like that as much.

Complicated means that I have to make plans to Skype with Jason, even when Community is on. Complicated means that I have to go out of my way to schedule lunch dates with friends. Complicated means that I have to send more texts, drive longer distances, make more of an effort. It requires more of me in the relationship.

As difficult as all of this can be, there's also beauty in this kind of intentional interaction. When we are intentional about relationships, we are intentional about the people. We say that on our list of important things, they have a place. We say that we care about their feelings. We say that we want to honor our commitment to friendship.

Intention often stirs creativity, so we may break out of "friendship ruts" that can happen. Instead of just relying on the regular ways of hanging out, we have to find different ways to spend time together. Sometimes we have to snag short visits. Sometimes we have to meet in places that aren't just a coffee shop. Sometimes we have to use technology to keep in touch.

Don't get me wrong. If I had my way, I'd see these folks just as regularly as ever. We'd hang out and things would be easy.

But in lieu of easy, I'll take intentional.

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What do you do to show your friends and family that you care about them? How are you intentional in your relationships?

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