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Monday, October 8, 2012

You Can Never Have Too Many Red Delicious Apple Friends!

Christian author and philosopher C.S. Lewis once wrote,

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

Who are your "another" friends? The ones with whom a friendship began at the moment you realized you had something in common?

Perhaps you have developed a friendship with another woman who, like you:
  • likes to hike
  • has teenagers in the marching band
  • enjoys studying the Bible
  • loves to cook
  • is raising preschoolers
  • has a child with special needs
  • is passionate about scrapbooking
  • is proficient at quilting
  • has a husband in the military
  • sings in the choir
  • loves to read Christian fiction
  • plays tennis
These are usually the easiest friendships to make. Some are established on mutually enjoyed activities, while others are forged by those who need a fellow sojourner with whom to make it through an especially difficult lot in life, such as enduring a physical illness or raising a child with a learning disability. But whether the friendship blooms out of the tender ground of sweet companionship or the desert of a shared pain, the fruit of such a relationship can be sweet and beneficial.

That's why I liken these "another friends" to Red Delicious Apples. While Red Delicious are not my favorite apples, they are dependably sweet and pretty apples. They look lovely piled high in a glass or wooden bowl on  your kitchen table. They are easy to find at your grocer and each year Washington produces an ample crop of these vibrant red beauties. 

If you look in your apple basket of friends and find yourself short on Red Delicious Apple friends, the most common variety of friends, you can easily find more. How do you go about harvesting Red Delicious friendships? The answer is easy, but requires even more courage and resolve than climbing a ladder into the branches of a heavily laden orchard tree:

When you find "another,"
Invite her.

It's easy to bemoan the fact that "no one has invited me" to lunch, to play golf, to go shopping, to sit beside them. But if we want to gather a bushel of friends, we've got to put on our big girl britches and take the responsibility of creating these sweet and juicy relationships. And, like so many areas of friendship, initiating one requires courage. The fear of rejection may loom in the bushes of your mind, but to have friends you'll need to press through the such daunting thoughts and go out on a limb, if you will.

When was the last time you invited someone new to join you in conversation about a topic over which you are mutually passionate? When did you last invite a new acquaintance to go for a walk, join you for lunch, sit with you at the game, discuss a book you both enjoyed, or hit a bucket of golf balls? What are you waiting for? If you found another, invite her.

I'd love to hear from you today, so bite into one of the following questions and share a little about one or two of your Red Delicious Apple friends.
  1. What is your most unusual Red Delicious Apple friendship formed around? Is it your shared interest in genealogy study, your love of English tea time, your desire to breed your Yorkshire Terriers or another equally intriguing commonality? I'd love to know what brought you together?
  2. What have you recently invited another woman to do with you? What was enjoyable about that joint activity?
  3. Why do you suppose we so often wait for the other person to do the inviting? Have you met an "another" lately? What could you commit to inviting her to do, right here on this blog, today?

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