Giving Chances and Hugs
Posted by Luther D. Powell on September 6, 2012
I apologize for my posts getting so late nowadays; classes and work make it hard for me to get this done earlier in the day.
In a recent post of mine, “Smile and Wave Basis,” I mentioned how making friends in this age is kind of a weird deal. Maybe you’re introduced to new people by those you’re already friends with. Maybe you work with someone you get along with and you gradually become closer through interaction at work. Maybe you exchanged brief words with a stranger, and the moment lasted just long enough for you to see something in them you wanted to know more about. Either way, Facebook happens. Or Twitter, or Skype, or MySpace (if anybody even still uses that). Once that’s settled, friendships vary in smoothness.
So what happens when a person wants to be friends with you and you don’t really want to be friends with them? That DOES happen to people other than me, right? ‘Cause if not, I’m gonna go crawl into a hole and never come out until I’ve read The Bible 50 times in a row or something for feeling so guilty. Seriously, it happens. I know it happens, not just because it happens to me, but because… it happens to me. But, the other way around. People don’t always want to be my friend :gasp!: I get it, sometimes I come off weird, my interests are a little on the morbid side, metal is not a widely-accepted genre of music and not everyone loves Godzilla as much as I do. If someone turns down friendship with me, I’ll get over it.
Back to the other end of the spectrum. I’ve learned to give friendship a chance with just about anybody over the years. Partly because, I’ve noticed that adults (I mean, older-than-22-adults) don’t seem to ‘hang out’ with friends a whole lot. I see it happen, but it seems rare from my perspective. People age, they grow more independent of community and friendship, start families, work and accomplish stuff. Because my freetime dwindles as I age, I want to make as many friends and have fun with as many people as I can while I still can.
The other reason I try to be open about friendship is that, quite frankly, I know what it’s like to get turned down once in a while. No, not by girls (I mean, I do, but…nottalkingaboutthisrightnow). I know how much it hurts to want to be friends with somebody who doesn’t want that friendship, and I’ve seen what that sort of thing can do to people.
I wanted to bring this up because I’ve been around a some people who don’t seem to have many friends. I say I try to accept people with differences, oddities, what have you, but honestly, the more people I get to know, the more I learn from those differences that push so many other people away. I don’t really have to try, because I want to learn. I hang out with folks who might not have that many other friends, not because I feel sorry for them, but because I want to hang out with them. I like being around them, I like hearing what they have to say, I laugh at their quirks and I want to share Christ’s love with them. All the while I have to wonder, why doesn’t anybody else give these people a chance? If I ‘turn down’ a friendship these days, it’s usually when I see something in the person which is potentially harmful to my mental, emotional and spiritual health. I’ve realized that it takes a lot for one person to ‘harm’ me in so many ways, so I give people chances. I do it, I enjoy it, I love my friends and they make me happy. Why can’t these people have other friends too? Why can’t other people want to be friends with my friends? Why doesn’t anybody else give them a chance?
I’m usually pretty scatterbrained with these posts, but my point in this one is fairly simple: give people a chance. If I’ve learned anything as a Christian in the past few years, it’s that giving chances is everything. People won’t want to hear what we have to say if we’re not listening to them either. They won’t accept us if we won’t accept them, and they probably won’t accept HIM either. If Christ lives in us, then what we show to others is what they will see of Him. If we show them nothing, they’ll see nothing. Jesus hung out with the lowest of the low, and called us to do the same. However, I don’t think He asked us to do that to say that there are people actually ‘lower’ than we are. None of us are perfect. We may choose not to befriend someone because we think they’re a ‘weirdo,’ but guess what? That weirdo is you. That weirdo is me. We’re all weirdos, and we can learn so much from each other, whether the differences are in beliefs or personalities or whatever.
I want to end this with a bit of conversation I had with a friend who, to my knowledge, is not a Christian. I was talking to this friend about another friend I was having troubles communicating with. I was saying to this friend about the other, “I don’t know how to talk to them anymore. About God, about life, anything. What do I do?” My friend replied, “Don’t waver.”
Don’t waver. Those were such powerful words to me then, and they still hit me whenever I think about giving up on people who are different from me. If you let go of them, they’ll let go of you. Give people –friends- a chance, because God gave you a chance.
On a final-final note, I received a hug in the middle of work today from a friend I’m not even very close with, and I must say, it made my whole day. So, give hugs too. Hugs mean everything. Cheers and God bless!
Luther D. Powell
This entry was posted on September 6, 2012 at 11:02 PM and is filed under Encouragment, Friendship, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Uncategorized. Tagged: chances, Facebook, Godzilla, hanging out, horror, hugs, Jesus, metal, myspace, skype, twitter, weirdos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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