Grace for your Friends

26 Mar

graceYou know that friend, the one you know everything about? The one who has the same problems for weeks, months, years on end and never does anything about them? Yeah, that one. My best friend has a friend like that: me. Here’s a snippet of a conversation you might overhear if you eavesdrop on our lunch conversation:

Friend: How’s your writing going?

Me: Ugh. Haven’t written a word in months. What I really need to do is start my writing first thing every day, and do everything else after that. I need to make it a priority.

Friend: Yeah, that would probably work.

Six months later:

Friend: How’s your writing going?

Me: Ugh. Haven’t written a word in almost a year. What I really need to do . . .

It’s like an endless loop of stupidity! And it’s not just me. Here’s a conversation where my friend perches (she never sits—no time) on the hot seat.

Friend: I’m so busy, I didn’t have time to eat yesterday. I’ve gotten myself involved in too many projects, and I have no idea how I’ll ever finish—[Phone rings. She answers.] President of the club? Run the meetings? Teach a couple more classes? Sure, I’d love to. [Hangs up the phone.] Where was I?

I admit it. Sometimes, I want to roll my eyes. And I’m sure she stifled an eye roll or two herself. My best friend and I have been having conversations like the ones above for years. The problems change, but the way we handle them doesn’t, not much. So why do we put up with each other?

Well, the best thing about friends is that we know them so well. We know their good qualities and their bad, their hopes and their fears, the loves and their hates.

And the worst thing about friends—we know them so well: the good, the bad…the hopes and fears…the loves and hates. Yeah, that’s the thing. And sometimes, their issues can get old. I know sometimes I get tired of hearing myself whining about the same things. How must my friend feel?

So what do we do when our friends drive us crazy, do things we can tell from a mile away are aren’t going to work, and then do those same things, over and over again? We could drop them—plenty of people make that choice, and sometimes, it’s the right choice. But sometimes, when people are stuck in a difficult loop, when those friends need friends more than ever, we should remember that we have issues of our own, and we should offer our friends grace.

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in devotion, Robin Patchen


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