Friendliness Is Next To Godliness

March 30, 2009 at 4:41 am 1 comment

Today I was told by a friend of mine that he reads my blog. I was excited, because I’m sure there are not many guys who want to read about my kids or delve into the randomness of my brain. My husband is the rare brave soul who survives that on a daily basis, bless him. 

I said to my friend, “You should leave a comment!” To which he replied, “I’ll keep my comments to myself. It’s all silliness.”

Me? Silly? The very idea.

But now I’m paranoid. I feel the need to be very serious. 

Or not. 

_____

A long time ago, way back when I was a kid at some point, this guy came into our family live center at church. My dad was the Minister of Recreation, therefore I spent many of my adolescent hours in this funhouse of Christ-centered activity. He asked one of the kids there (he didn’t know me, or he’d have asked me, I’m sure) where Mr. Coon was. He said, “You know, Mr. Coon, So-and-so’s (the youth minister) best friend?”

The kid replied, “Mr. Coon don’t have a best friend. Mr. Coon is EVERYBODY’S friend!” 

Why I remember that, I’ll never know. 

But it apparently made an impression on me. My dad is everybody’s friend. He and my mom are best buds, and he has a few close guys that he talks to when needed, but for the most part, he makes everyone he meets feel like they are instant buds. 

I want to be like that. 

I have a strong desire to make people feel welcomed, especially at church. I’ve been in so many situations where I felt like the weirdo that nobody wanted to sit with, so I have made it my goal to make everyone I meet feel like they are valued and appreciated. 

I’m not good at it yet, but I’m trying. 

I hate to see anyone alone. If they like being alone, that’s great. That’s something I don’t do well, so I’m impressed with anyone who can hang out by themselves and have fun. I don’t think I’m very entertaining when I’m all by myself. But the alone I’m talking about is someone who wants to fit in, but for some reason hasn’t found their niche yet. 

I think introductions are crucial at church. It does not take much, if any, effort to approach someone you don’t know and say “Hey! My name is ________. I haven’t met you yet!” Then throw in a “I’m so glad you’re here!” and voila!, instant welcome. 

We had a blast tonight at a fellowship for the young married couples at our church. The kids went nuts on the inflatables, and the parents hung out and ate great food. I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it, except that maybe next time, we should do something that involves mixing up classes so that we have to get to know new people. I go to a large church, with so many really great folks, and it seems a little sad to me that we don’t expand our circles to include any other people than the ones we already know well. Nobody in particular is bad about this, it’s just comfortable to hang with our friends, and that’s great. I just think we miss out on a huge blessing by not getting to know the body of Christ that we’re supposed to be living life with. It’s not a snobby or exclusive thing, I just think it is not recognized as a need. 

Or maybe I’m just weird. I’m good with that. 

I hope to always be that person who will speak and be friendly to whomever crosses my path. I hope God uses me to maybe help someone feel welcome in a new environment. I hope that others will do the same and that young families in our community will not see our church as a bunch of groups that come together in the sanctuary and sit in their assigned seats, but as one body. While we choose our classes based on where we fit best, we are all part of a whole, and there is a bigger picture and purpose to be considered. 

The downside for me in all this is that having really close friends is harder. Because I want to get to know so many people, I find myself not knowing many people really well. However, God has really worked it out for me to have some great friendships that are deepening every week and seem to be building on things that matter so much to me. Trust, acceptance, laughter, prayer. Those things seem to be transcending the boundaries of groups or classes and helping me to realize that it’s not who I sit by in church but who really takes the time to know me and what I’m all about. 

I had an epiphany tonight. I realized that in my relationships with others, this is what I’m about: 
If you expect me to be what you want me to be, you will be disappointed. If you expect me to be exactly who I am, and you’re okay with that, then you’ll be satisfied with who that is, and we can build on that. My goal needs to be to treat others the way I want to be treated, which is to be accepted exactly like me, without expectations.

Isn’t that completely simple and brilliant? Yeah, why didn’t I pick that up when I was 13?

Michael’s putting up his commentary, which means bedtime for Bonzo.  

Here’s to a week of friendliness. But since I’m home with Paiz all day, maybe I will teach her to talk so she can be a friend, too.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. john  |  March 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Anne,

    Yes I read your blog sometimes and no they aren’t silly. I do like what you wrote on this blog. You are a good friend and I will start responding to some of your blogs. But not about fashion or bachlor stuff. ha ha! Have a great day.

    The GUY that reads your blog.

    P.s. Be yourself don’t change anything.

    Reply

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