What Do Your Friends Look Like?

My choice of entertainment during workouts is probably different than the typical worker outer. Pump up music just doesn’t do it for me!

Yesterday was The Last Song album (yup, the seven years back Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth movie). Today was a podcast about food insecurity. One day last week was this talk about Catholic friendship. Through a lens of St. Pope John Paul II’s teachings, Emily Stimpson goes through nine “rules” of being a good friend.

Now that I’ve moved home after college and old yet incredible friends have reached out to me (and vice versa), I’ve been reminded once again that friendship is one of my favorite things this earthly life has to offer. I just treasure it like crazy town!! Read this, this and this post if you want to read more on friendship from my perspective.

11059584_1093148734046327_2763734076111523033_n.jpg

I’ve been randomly reflecting on this talk that I discovered on the eliptical because as a friend and a Catholic, it discussed things I never truly and deeply thought about. Although all of Emily’s insight was GOLD, her seventh point stuck with me the most: Keep friendships diverse in race, age and status. P.S. all nine rules are in the YouTube description notes!

Your group of friends should look like the body of Christ. The body of Christ has young people and it has older people. It has people who are black and people who are white. People who experience same-sex attraction and people who experience being attracted to one woman after another. That’s who is sitting in the church on Sundays. You’ve got the womanizer, the celibate, the old people. You should be friends with people who come from all those different walks of life. From each of them, you will learn something new. – Emily Stimpson

Yes sir, I have a core group of people who I more regularly call to get tacos, go on walks and watch episodes of The O.C. with. But I’ve had the pleasure of learning that every person who I come across is a gift. Collectively, these people friends have taught me the significance of community that never stops growing and changing.

18222530_10208626453845449_311180699501998225_n.jpg

Because life is much too short to watch the stars alone. Sometimes, that is so so necessary but the sky is too vast to always sit under it by yourself. Furthermore, it’s too diverse in and of itself to marvel at its beauty with monotonous folks who don’t challenge you, call on you to make sacrifices, teach you life’s greatest lessons and make you feel uncomfortable at times.

My friends include…

The religious sister in her 70s who I have baked Irish soda bread with on St. Patrick’s Day. She contacted me when I was in seventh grade simply because she saw my Irish name on a list at the new school I was attending and it intrigued her. Gotta love Sister Brigid!!

This sincere dude who used to run up to me and give me an orange whenever he saw me on campus. He always had an orange in his pocket. I didn’t ask questions. I love oranges and talking to him!

18268307_1647334858627709_9000654115448518185_n.jpg

The bridesmaid who I met at a wedding last summer where I knew roughly five people. I danced away with the bridal party and today, she’s one of my best friends!

This woman (who rocks an apron like no other!) who worked at my junior high and ten years later, is a great mentor to me. Even with kids of her own, she never fails to consistently let me know how much she cares about me. She invited the fam into her home to cook the most divine meal for us last weekend. Followed by kickball, of course!

IMG_3385.JPG

The most friendly guy who works in the produce section of my favorite grocery store. He notices whenever I haven’t shopped there in a week or two and will do anything to make sure my vegetables are prime pickings. He also has the most awkward laugh. I love it!

The man in his 60s who goes to my church, cheered for my friends and I during high school tennis matches and posted this on my Facebook wall on Monday night.

IMG_3459.JPG

The volunteers at my church’s food pantry. My mom is one of the coordinators so when my schedule allows, I join the men and women who have 50 years on me and soak up the updates of their grandkids’ life adventures.

All the girls in their 20s who are in a similar season of life with me. Some I’ve been childhood neighbors with, lived with, prayed with, shuffled with (as in shuffleboard…or my signature shuffle dance move. You choose!), STARGAZED with and simply have laid on the floor with. Does anyone else find floor laying to be a hobby?IMG_3125.JPG.jpeg

My parents and siblings (and their friends because we have an open door policy) who join me in every dance party that goes down in our kitchen. For the first time in seven years, we are all under the same roof again yeeeee!!

The pals in my undergrad major and professor who I traveled with to Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York City for once in a lifetime opportunities. They let me stop whenever I saw a macaron place…that’s a great sign of friendship 🙂

13062111_10201576064199460_7108548839971230452_n.jpg

The kiddos I babysit who shout my name with complete joy.  Today, I helped them with the signage of their new mashed potato business. Their motto is “No mashed potatoes allowed here because we sell them”… they’re doing big things!

And so. many. more. Like Olivia, one of my best friends with the most diverse group of friends, always tells me, “the world is full of people I haven’t become friends with yet!”. Liv, you are a beautiful and wise (and great kite flying) friend.

11707667_1072990392728828_1459128207201229723_n.jpg

We will never click with everyone. It’s impossible to meet everyone we would click with (although that would be theee coolest!). But if a new face is going to make an impression in our lives, we simply need to be open to whoever the Father is crossing our paths with. Regardless of what stage of life they’re in, what they look like, how differently they sin from you, whether you think they fall into your idea of “friend” status, etc. We can relate to each person because on the most fundamental level, we are all human.

Sometimes, we are called to be the first one to reach out. Other times, we get to decide if we want to receive the invitation that was sent our way. Always, it’s the undivided attention, selfless intent and eye contact that communicates how much you see the individual and all of their worth.

Let’s look at our friends from each and every aspect of our lives. Are we looking at the body of Christ?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s