“Will you be my friend?” This is a question I found myself asking someone a few years back. I had just had my daughter and I was longing to connect with someone… anyone. I never realized how alone I could feel after having a baby and entering the brand new world of motherhood. But alone is exactly what I felt. Tired, alone and questioning if I would ever feel normal again.
My husband and I have moved quite a bit throughout our ten years of marriage. So far we have lived in four different states. And while prior to having our daughter we had lived in that particular area for four years – I only had a few friends to speak of… each with very different lives and schedules than mine… especially after I had my baby.
We went to a large church that we considered to be our church home. It was wonderful. The only problem was we had somehow gotten lost in the crowd. Unfortunately, this is quite common in large churches. No one really means for it to happen… it just does. And it certainly did with us.
We had both grown up in churches where we knew everyone and everyone knew us. We felt very connected and were certainly not lacking friendships. As we moved around however, we began to realize how very blessed we were because true friendships can be hard to come by especially as you get older. Everyone has their own lives and “getting together” takes much effort at first while you are growing your friendship.
So here I was, a new mom feeling alone, isolated and longing for relationships. Longing to connect with other young mothers who could encourage me and assure me that I was in fact not alone and everything I was feeling and going through was perfectly normal. Yes I knew there were “groups” for that sort of thing… but I was never able to get to those groups because I worked full time and they met on Thursday mornings.
So I prayed for God to bring me friendships. I even got to such a desperate point that one Sunday when I found I was really connecting with a gal at church, I asked her – practically on my knees begging – “Will you be my friend?” She smiled and sort of laughed. I could tell she was thinking I was being funny so I tried to keep it light and chuckle back, but for the most part remained serious, because I was serious – and desperate and tired and hurting – and I think I may have scared her off…
How sad! What has happened in the body of Christ that we would turn away from people who so clearly need someone to talk to? What ever happened to loving others as Christ loves us?
“Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
We have a responsibility to represent Christ everywhere we go… in our business, in our homes, at the grocery store, and we must not forget – in our churches. It’s not the pastor’s responsibility to connect with each person… it’s ours; the body. We are the eyes, the ears, the arms, the legs – we need to be ready to reach out to the new couple sitting in the back of the church. Lend a hand to the little old lady struggling to open the door. Hug the homeless man who staggers in for the first time in a very long time.
After all, His love is the whole point! God created the heavens, the earth and he created man in His own image… why? LOVE… God sent His one and only son to die for us so that we could be saved from a life without hope. Why? LOVE…
The very least we can do is share God’s love freely with everyone we come in contact with. Simple acts of kindness go a long way with someone who is, like I was, longing for connection and reassurance that they are not alone. We need to ask God to help us see people through His eyes… with compassion… with grace… and especially with love. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…
1 John 4:12 says “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete with in us.”
“Oh Lord let your love be made complete in me that I would share your love freely with everyone I meet. Help me to never underestimate the power of a simple act of kindness.”
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