Friendship - Endangered Species Style

When you try to convey righteousness, God's love, and your purest thoughts to people, they will not receive it unless they are in a place and posture to do so. Regardless of how right you are, people do not respond on your time. They respond to their own set of circumstances and own thought patterns. They will respond when they feel safe - when they feel emotionally capable. They will respond when you are not looking. This way they won't be as embarrassed or self-conscious as they change or develop. They won't have to deal with your look of "I told you so." No one fully becomes their own overnight. No one learns to fight the world and their demons by your instruction manual. You can average a 90%"I am right" ratio, but you will find that people who get things wrong will have more impact and love for others than you. Others do not get things right based on your rightness - they start to get things right if you are fully invested in their best. They get things right when you are a part of God's timetable for them. I imagine this is what parents feel like as they pray for their children, and watch them fall - and then fall again.

You will not see someone change until your care for them trumps your care for relational security/proximity with them. Everyday I see friendships that are too clingy. I see relationships that make me vomit. I applaud your patience with one another - but I question whether the patience you exhibit is a function of true love for each other or a sticky-symbiotic need for each other.

Endangered Species may seem like they have no friends at first glance. They are fine by themselves. In fact, if you didn't know any better, you would think they are introverted hermits. I would suggest that their friendships are better. When endangered species call you their friends, you experience friendship in a way that may offend you. You won't get thoughtful phone calls and cards (especially if you are of the opposite gender). You won't get "I'm thinking of you" notes. You also won't get affirmation that makes you a worse version of your current pathetic self. Endangered Species do not encourage the ugliness that you exhibit. They do not even tolerate it. They accept you for who you are, but they push you to become better. Do you know why? Because they hold themselves to a very high standard - and they trust that you are just as human as they are.

You see, friendships mean too much to endangered species. They do not take the word lightly. They care more about the person than their distance to that person. They will give their lives for those they love. They will protect, defend, and honor their friends until their last breath on earth - even into eternity. Endangered Species are the ones that are there when no one is left - they won't be the life of the party, but they will clean up everyone's mess. They smile from a distance when you win, but they hurry to your side when you lose.

For those of you who think you are good friends - think some more. For those of you that think you need friends - you don't. For those of you who think you are endangered species even after all these posts full of high standards and requirements - Get off your high horse.

I think it is interesting that Jesus (from the Bible) calls us His friends. We know His business. We are not just servants, but friends. We take His friendship very seriously. We are open to the requirements of His friendship. Maybe we should re-define how we label friendships. Maybe we should move away from sloppy friendships, and get a bit more serious. Does anyone want to be friends with me? laugh myself to sleep. Peace and much love to you - John Baptist!


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