I know that I, myself, have a very hard time getting to know people. It's been such my entire life. And the only thing I know to blame that on is my shyness. Even though I'm not nearly as shy as when I was younger, I'm still the type of guy who can't make conversation and ask questions just to get to know someone. Perhaps it's the fear of saying something stupid or the fear of simply being rejected. I don't really know. All I know is that for a long time I've wanted it to change. I wanna be the one who makes the first introduction. The one who's not afraid to ask the deep questions and not afraid to give an answer even when the answer might be crap. After all, a REAL friend is someone you know really well and can even give wrong answers to and still be loved just because.. ..well just because! It means you've shared some of life's journeys together and you know things about each other that others may not know. And so even in bad times or when saying stupid things you know that you know that you know your friend will still be there.
Lo and behold it was the internet that allowed me to make my first such friend. The one who I could talk to unashamedly and tell deep dark secrets to. And so even now I can sit here typing this via internet cause those fears that I guess exist in person don't seem to exist quite as badly here. I don't have the fear of rejection or of saying something stupid even though what I type goes out to anyone in the world who wants to read it. When things ARE rejected though, there's always the delete option!
Modern internet social sites have allowed outward friend making easier than ever. Making that 'inner' friendship is still not always so easy though. Yet long before social and dating sites, the internet brought me my first and still only real intimate friend. The one who became my help mate, my wife. Maybe we're all supposed to have only one really really intimate friend that we become married to, but aren't there still others throughout life that we get to know on different intimate levels?
I can't speak for myself because my wife is still my only intimate friend period. I did have one cousin I was real close friends with when growing up but other that that, I never knew anyone on a deep level. I did begin to know some folks on a slightly deeper level when I was attending a prayer group on a regular basis as a teen. But alas, we grow older and groups fall away. I'm a husband and a father now and work two different jobs so you'd think I would know some folks on a bit of deeper level but I feel I don't. Even with family members I only seem to know what I see on the outside.
Other than my wife and kids, I have few persons if any that I feel I could call a REAL friend. And by that I mean someone I know inside and out. I know that Jesus is the one intimate friend who is ALWAYS there, but that's not the point of what I'm trying to discuss here. And any one that I did know closely as a friend when growing up doesn't count either cause I live to far away now to see them on a regular basis. That also adds to my point that I never had a close friend even when growing up since I don't know anyone that I even call and talk to on a regular basis other than my mom. And that's back to family again which doesn't really count.
So it is my desire that I will become better at knowing outward friends, workers, and even family members on a deeper level. If I can brave my outside fears to reach deep into someone's life on the inside, then perhaps God can better use me. I see the outward appearance of people around me everyday, but it is what's on the inside that I want to know more of. Don't take me wrong, I never want to be as intimate with someone as I am with my wife, but I do hope I can know people on a deep enough level to pray with them through life's struggles.
I mean even I could use one good friend who I'd know would be there to pray with me when I struggle in life. Someone other than just my wife that is. I think everyone needs some sort of accountability partner, a friend that can just be a friend. Someone other than your mate, but yet someone who you know deep enough to tell those secret things to that you sometimes need prayer about. Sure you can pray between yourself and God but there's power in the prayer of two people together. Jesus said "where two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am also." As old sayings go.. two heads are better than one and a three chord strand is not easily broken. I'll leave with this verse:
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. -Proverbs 27:9