In our 11 years of marriage, Don and I have moved around quite often. We have always been blessed to have good friends wherever we have been. There is one thing that we have noticed though and it is a really simple, yet sad occurrence. When you move around frequently people are sometimes reluctant to be friendly. We have noticed it again since we have moved down here. It seems that often people have a defence mechanism that tells them that if you are leaving within a year or so, then it is probably not best to cement new friendships-'after all they are leaving anyway'. It is not something that people come out and say, but rather a silent withdrawal followed by a lack of wanting to get to know you in any depth. I have had people ask me how long we are intending to be be in Melbourne, and when I tell them, they start to look around and the conversation ends. They don't bother to get to know us because we are not staying.
Thankfully we have found ways to combat this, and just love people. We are continually amazed at how God bring friends into our life for a season. Often we bump into each other in another time and place. And when we are together we impact each others lives, deepening ties that are not bound by time, and distance. We choose to sink our roots in deep, so that we can enjoy genuine and loving relationships, no matter how long we may be together. We have treasured friends that we have not seen in 5 or more years. It does not mean we love them any less and when we do see each other, we just take up where we left off.
Hearts remember love. Hearts remember the laughs, tears and good times shared.
I look at Jesus and the three short years that he got to spend with his closest friends. I look at Paul, who never got to stay still for long. Each of these had a tremendous impact on the lives of their friends. The effects were life changing.
How sad it is that we guard our hearts so closely and not share them abundantly with those we meet. Imagine if our openness and and outpouring of love, was given freely without fear of loss and hurt.
I want to encourage you to embrace those around you, no matter how long they may be in your midst. God puts us in places, and with people for a reason and a season. Let us not pass by the opportunity to make new friends, mates that could be our company for the eternity to come.