A few years ago, one of my dearest friends-we will call her M- moved to California. Her husband got a dream job and it was the right move for their family, but man, was it tough on me. We went to visit them shortly after they moved and a few weeks ago they were back in town for the first time since they left. (thankfully they have family here so every once in awhile they might come visit!)
We snagged a few minutes to chat over my lunch before they left town again and it was water to my soul. And a reminder of why I miss her so very much. M is one of those people who just dives right in and ask the tough questions. None of this tip-toeing around “how is your day” type of stuff. She wants to know how your marriage is, how being a mom is, how your walk with God is going. She wants to truly know your heart and what is going on in the deepest corners of it. Perhaps beyond her ability to ask questions and be transparent with her life was her willingness to just be there. I have memories of countless hours spent just hanging out at her house in the middle of her 3 then, now 5 kids, chaos often ensuing around us. No matter, we would keep talking even if it was in stops and starts with interruptions to get water, a snack, mediate an argument, or put kids to bed.
A hug and a quick chat before she and her family headed back to the west coast both filled a void and increased an ache in my heart. While I love my millennial peers for so many reasons, I think we have lost the art of simply being together in community. It seems to often have to be an ordeal. Plans have to be made in advance because we are so busy, we fret about our houses’ cleanliness (or lack thereof), we need a reason-lunch, brunch, etc, or we just get so busy building our careers, resumes, communities, and social profiles, we just don’t have time to be. And even when we are together, transparency is often lacking. Every once in awhile in my circles, I will catch a glimpse of it, but often I find myself stuffing thoughts back inside because I don’t want to be the one whose marriage isn’t great or who isn’t always sure about this whole mom thing.
But the hour chat was the motivation I needed to clear my schedule, text or call, make the invite, and spend more time building relationships and less time building my resume. There will always be a meeting to attend, a cause to support, a fundraiser to give towards, but on the days when life is crumbling apart, it won’t be the organization or cause dropping by with a hot meal or a shoulder to cry on.