We’re standing around after church, nursing coffees, surrounded by the buzz of fellowship. We don’t know each other very well but we find ourselves in the same place at the same time often enough that we make an effort to be friendly. But, like with most people here, Jesus is about the only reason our lives overlap.
And so I start another week surrounded in a sea of nicety, a sea of politeness. A sea of people who I have very little in common with. But they are friendly and I am thankful for that. Really, I don’t want to seem ungrateful. It could be much worse, I realize this, I tell myself this. And yet even so it’s often not enough.
Wading in a sea of shallow friendships feels curiously like drowning.
And the damning part of it all is that there is no tangible blame. It all seems highly up to chance, this making of deep friends.
It’s like the universe dangles a complicated friendship algorithm just out of our reach. There’s something divinely mysterious about the ability for two people to truly, closely connect. It can’t be forced, it can’t be produced – it just is.
I wish I knew the equation that enables two souls to open equally.
I find myself on unbalanced scales, either too heavy or too light. I brave the scary waters of attempted friendship but find myself too weighed down and the other side aloof. Someone else comes along who wants desperately to connect with me and I’m airy, unable to meet them in the middle.
I am either rejected or rejecting.
And I don’t know why.
And I think to myself – it didn’t used to be this hard.
But that’s not really true, is it? Friendship has always been hard to grasp, I just didn’t care before – I didn’t need. Life is the thing that didn’t used to be this hard.
The thing that leaves me drowning in this shallow sea.
So I keep stepping on the scale. Waiting for someone to balance.