What do you mean? You were terrific company. Perfect company. You were real. That’s why I come here.
It’s not because she’s always in a good mood, because her kids are angels, or because her house is always tidy. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I go because toys are everywhere. Kids are everywhere – sometimes happy, sometimes not. And the conversation is always real. Not sugar coated. No pretending. What you see is what you get.
As I drove home from our play date, I couldn’t get her apology out of my head. I have found myself apologizing to people when I’m in a funk too. But something about her apology hit me hard … and I can’t stop wondering … Why do we feel like we must apologize when we’re not our best version of ourselves?
I think it’s a societal thing … we’ve been conditioned to think we have to be on our best behavior when we have people over. Having people over is no longer about living in community with one another. Instead it’s about entertaining.
We no longer live in a society where people just stop by to say hi. We’re too polite for that. Who knows what’s going on in their house this morning – we wouldn’t want to add to the chaos. If they wanted us to visit, we would be invited over.
And when we don’t receive an invitation, we feel like we’re intruding. Like we aren’t wanted. Like we’re not welcome. Maybe we even get our feelings hurt a little.
But what if all that person really needs is an unexpected visit?
I mean … I think about that old African proverb …
It takes a village to raise a child…
I long for a village. A group of people who are real with one another. No pretenses. Laugh together and weep together. Play together and work together. Eat together and relax together. People who feel comfortable just stopping by and making themselves at home. People who know where the glasses are and who aren’t afraid to make themselves something to eat. Who help me when I’m in a funk.
She and I … we’re beginning to build that village. We’re being real with one another. And it’s scary. Being real means you inevitably see houses and people in disarray. Just stopping by means you might catch someone who hasn’t showered and is still in pajamas at noon. Kids may be crying. Parents may be screaming. Or vice versa.
But as scary as it is … it’s so worth it. There’s nothing greater than having a friend that doesn’t judge you – no matter how they see you. A friend who truly opens her house to you at any time of the day or night. A friend who laughs with you and cries with you. A friend that just lets you be you.
She doesn’t know that I’ve been praying for a friendship like this one for some time now. God is answering my prayer in a big way. And I’m so thankful.
So no more apologies … let’s be real with one another … let’s be a village. Because in all reality – there’s really no better way to live.
Linking up today with Jennifer: