Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Crutches?

In a recent sitcom, Linda was grilling Audrey about going over the top in one of her relationships. She dogged her for always being there, sort of waiting on her boyfriend, “Trevor” hand and foot, cooking when he what he wants, when he wants, laundry etc…in short WAY too much. Audrey responds to one of Linda’s many questions by saying” But he has a broken leg” and Linda’s classic response “I know, I see all 3 of his crutches, 1…2 and YOU.

I often say “my circle is so small it’s a line”. That’s funny, but its truth. But the folks in my line…I can count on. It can be 3 AM or 3PM, I can call from jail or Jerusalem if I need them, they are ride or die.  Yet I can’t tell you the last time I talked on the phone with them for over 10 minutes. However, that is also why I value them.  I know if they do call - there is a problem or something is happening good or bad that I need to know… I know we don’t just “shoot the breeze”. So that means it’s important or serious and I come to a full stop.  Sometimes, I become one of the crutches holding them up until the pain has passed. Sometimes they are the crutch for me. That is the ONLY role of a crutch and it’s TEMPORARY. I then resume my place in the background of their life, like a safety net. Now, if you saw someone still walking on crutches a year or two after a simple sprained ankle, you would know that something went WAY wrong in the healing process or they are afraid of falling again.

Some of us treat our “friends” or relationships in general as if they are in a full body cast.  We act as if the relationship is helpless to stand on its own unless you are there feeding it constantly with activity, favors, and compliments.  Seriously, take a lesson from God.

God called Abraham his friend, yet in a span of about 30 years from Genesis chapter 12 until chapter 22, God  is recorded as speaking only 7 times to him. If your friend only called you maybe once every 5 years or so…YOU would not call them friend, but they may be. That's not to say that relationships won't need work on occasion or that you won't need to take the initiative to reestablish a VALUABLE friendship sometimes.

Yet, relationships are more than activities. Its’ found in connection. It’s in a look, a knowing glance that says, “I hear what you are saying, but I know what you are feeling”. It’s in being able to freely say to a friend that they are acting like an idiot, fight about it and then go to Wendy’s for a frosty.

Needy people will need people all the time.  You will rarely see them stand on their own two feet without “crutches”.  You will rarely see them alone.  As soon as one relationship ends, they are with another guy, friend or buddy filling an emotional vacancy that is a sure sign of a deeper issue. I’ve got five dollars that says you don’t have that kind of time. Quit taking the term friendship so lightly. You owe it to you and your true inner circle, to do some assessing (I call it circle editing) and see who stays, who goes or gets a brand new title: acquaintance.