Having acquaintances doesn’t take much effort. Surface conversations, easy laughter, see-ya-when-I-see-ya mindset. The bulk of our friendships will fall into this category, and there is certainly a place for them. There are so many wonderful people I love to see, hug and spend time with when our paths cross, but I don’t really make much effort to dig deeper into the relationships.
In Grown-Up Girlfriends, the authors use the imagery of baskets when they speak of friendships. The three baskets each hold a different level of friendship, and we need to be conscious of how many they each contain. Basket one is for people who we see regularly, know their name, but not much else about: our children’s teachers, neighbors we’re not close with, etc. Basket two is for our close acquaintances: our bible study friends, mom’s night out girls. We share on a deeper level, but not everything. These are not the friends we lean most heavily on in a time of need. Our basket three friends, only a few people at most, are those soul-friends who help sustain us. These are the women we invest in with more resources, time and emotional energy.
Sometimes, in certain seasons or for certain reasons, we only have acquaintances and don’t choose to invest further with anyone. We have no basket three friends. Perhaps it’s because of busyness, or a recent relocation, or even by choice. Yet, whatever the reason, I think this is when we find ourselves the most lonely. We may have dozens or more people surrounding us, but we are truly known by no one.
Investments cost. Our basket three friends will require sacrifice of the most rewarding kind. Time to pray for them, care for them, meet with them, listen to them and share with them. Trusting them with our deepest needs, fears, and dreams. Praying for them regularly and fervently, keeping our hearts connected either across town, or across the country. Really digging deep into the true places of their souls and finding out what makes them tick, and how we can best meet their needs. Working through challenges together and dealing with conflict head-on, if it occurs.
All of this takes effort. And it is all worth it.
This weekend I challenge you to think about who your basket three friends are and how you can invest more into their lives and your relationships with them. How can you pour more of yourself into those friendships? If you have no basket three friendships at this time of your life, pray about who God may want you to approach about a deeper friendship.