I’m watching my grandchildren making friends while walking through the minefield of Junior High and High School. My inclination is to hold their hands, not that they would take mine at this age anyway, and absorb the inevitable blows for them. I don’t want to shatter their tender idealism about friendships, but instead, I want to protect their precious ingots of innocence.

Jesus gave us a “how to” example even in choosing companions and friends. He chose and asked many disciples to be a part of His group, to belong to each other and to Him. But not all were willing. Not all responded favorably to the asking. The unwilling ones misunderstood His expectations. We cannot control how others respond to our reaching out.

I find friendships bending or even breaking under the weight of expectations. When attempts of caring are thwarted, my go-to conclusion is that I no longer belong on the team. I tend to fill in the blanks during these friendship absences and silences,  taking the blame on myself.

Nevertheless, friendships, enduring friendships, are not that simple and straight forward. To belong to a friendship team involves being mutually selected for a common purpose or interest. Each friend contributes unique methods of melding techniques which lead to acceptance and an equal sense of belonging. Together, friends celebrate the joys, traverse the bumps, and mourn the losses in life.

How faithful a friend are you?

As He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea. He said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.’ They left their nets immediately and followed Him.

Matthew 4:18-25