Friends Near and Far

By Char

With only 10 days until I return home, I’ve been thinking with much anticipation about the friends I’ll be meeting this summer. I’ve got some amazing friends and family back home whom I only get to see once a year, if that. This summer, I’m flying to see a friend of almost 20 years whom I haven’t seen in 5! I wish I could see everyone every time I go home, but with time, money, and geography, it’s just not possible. Plus there are so many Taiwan friends who have returned to North America that I would love to see in addition to the Canadian friends I left behind 10 years ago. It’s really hard for me sometimes to choose to see someone, or not to make the trip to see someone, to impose myself on people helplessly (I’d love to visit you, but I’ll need you to drive me an hour or more to an airport afterward), and to have to say “you only get a few hours of my time” when it would take much, much longer for us to catch up. I also don’t want it to feel like I’m “gracing” you with my presence when I probably am more encouraged and refreshed from our visit than you ;) Recently, I’ve been thinking about an attitude of my heart. I know that it makes me feel unloved when I feel like people are friends with me for what I can give them rather than who I am or talk to me only when they need something, and I never want someone to feel like I’m visiting them because they’ll be a free place to stay/ride or not visiting them because I can’t get anything out of it. I especially don’t want people to feel that way because God reminded me that we treat Him in exactly the same way sometimes. Do we only want to be ‘friends’ with Him when He brings us blessings? I’m certainly not a perfect friend, and not unlike this blog, I do feel like I’ve neglected a lot of my friendships in the past few years. Here’s what I strive for instead, as I posted a few months ago at Bold Cup of Coffee:

5 ways to engage in life-giving friendships

Originally posted

We need the light, warmth, acuity, and simply the spark from others to pass through the flames and become a more useful instrument in the hands of our Maker.

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