Thursday, 27 August 2009

Friends

I find this bit of writting of our friends in Wales (Steve and Marcia) are so funny, interesting but true in many way. Just would like to share it to the world!



Having so many friends visit has been a blessing in many ways. We've been reminded of the joyful privilege it is to have friends - and reminded as well what a means of grace Christian friendships can be.

Not that we have no Christian friends who live here in North Wales, but when people just pop into your life for a few days or a week of concentrated "friendship" and then leave just as quickly, you tend to feel their presence and absence a little more acutely than those you see more often. And what a range of feelings!

Excitement (because they're coming),

relief (because they're finally here),

fatigue (because we all stayed up late - again),

hilarity (often when up late),

urgency (because you don't want to neglect your regular responsibilities),

longing (from reminders of friends you've left behind),

elation (over good news from home),

and, of course, gloom (because our home seems so empty when they've gone).

We would not want to have friends visiting all the time (who would?!?), but the Lord has taught us a lot through this past stretch as well as given us things to think about and work on for the future.

Things like: How do we stay close to the Lord when our routine is disrupted for several days? How can I lead our home in a way that makes visitors feel welcome, protects Marcia from wearing herself out too much, prevents the kids from going completely feral for lack of normal discipline, and leaves me room to carry on with the work to be done in Abergele?

We so want to build a family life that displays the grace of God to people who visit - but not in a put-on preachy kind of way. Of course, that requires not mere doing of certain things but actually being a certain kind of person - through the grace of God.



To some extent, this is what I've been experiencing this summer, not that I blame anyone of course. It's been fun to see almost every week there are different friends who wanted to see us. But as Steve mentioned on his entry, there is always a cost to pay.
I had not read my bible as regular, I had not do my quiet time talking to my Saviour as I used to do, I lost my quality "family only" time, I didn't give my son and my husband the slice of 24-minus-working-minus-sleeping-minus-household-chores that I used to give.(Just in case you are wondering it work out that I have about 2 hour for that a day). My husband is unable to be as efficient in writing his thesis, and obviously, my lack-of-attention son turn deaf to my command even turn callous to punishment. Even at some point, I feel that office is much more comfortable than home!!!

So why do I STILL accept friend in my house for a stay, for chat, or for consolation anyway?

Most of the time the guilt that bothers me to reject a friend visit, or someone asking for help, which end up make my own schedule, my family schedule, all fall apart. I always think it is the Lord's will for me to be a good Samaritan to anyone and providing them not only with hospitality, but also with my time and money. But I guess, Steve and Marcia make me realise, there is time to say "No" when you need to minister your own family with their spiritual and physical needs.



1 Tim 5 : 8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

2 comments:

Stardust said...

Thanks for sharing this. It often gets me thinking too.

For you already know, I'm staying at a place foreign to my acquaintances. Being a Samaritan and being a host is to me, quite a different thing altogether. I don't mind opening doors to anybody needy, becos Christ desires us to see him in the needy. It's a very Christian thing.

It can be especially confusing, when acquaintances claim that they are not friends with you, and naturally they'd rather not be invited to your wedding. Then suddenly, you ARE friends again, when they know that you're staying somewhere great, doing somehow good, or having somewhat much. Almost instantly, everybody WANTS to be your friend. They want to 'visit' you, 'know' that you are doing well, 'offer' you the company, courtesy of the host's expense.

Having being brought up in a respected family, hospitality is a way of life and mutual thing. For my case, it's getting all too solo or one-way. Question : How many groups of 'friends' am I obligated to receive? How am I supposed to respond, if they desire to repeat their visit? And since we're 'friends', is there anybody willing to travel here to lend me a hand for a week or two, instead of expecting me to serve. Why are friends offended, when I reveal the fact that my partner isn't a very sociable person, who prefers privacy than sitting with strangers.

Do 'friends' put you in a spot?

I love my true friends who've never isolated from me over distance. As for 'friends' made because of distance-reason, I'm having reservations. I like to help, even if the other party is a stranger. But I hate to be exploited, especially by 'friends' who always wants, but never want to give.

Anyway, I commend you for your generosity and big heart.

Enjoy yourselves at Wales!

J.H said...

Stardust,
I can truly relate with what you've said. Probably that will add to things that I didn't say on the blog entry. But you are absolutely right, a true friend might not always mean we are together all the time, but rather those that still remember us far or near :D