"Water Your Friendship"

I stepped out this morning from the back door of my house and I encountered a sad fact of life. The plants in the pot I had placed on the back door rail had shriveled. They had died from thirst. In my busy schedule of work and school, I had neglected to water my plants. Now they looked like skeletons, all the meat on their bodies had fallen of. My good intention of getting neither these plants nor my desire to keep them made any difference to the fact that what i didn’t maintain died off. That gave me some food for thought on my way to work. As I swiped my metro card to catch the next train for work, I wondered how many things in my life I had allowed to shrivel and die from a lack of maintenance. Then it occurred to me, how many relationships had fallen out of my life from a lack of mutual maintenance.

Relationships, especially friendships, are a lot like plants. We meet people at different places whether it’s at work, at church, at school, at camp or any location where we are consistently around the same group of people.  Those locations become the plant pots where seeds are sown. It could be a seed of common interests, a seed of mutual assistance, or a seed of partnership on a project. Whatever it is, a seed is sown where we are encouraged to interact with those around us.  As our interactions with those people increase, a relationship begins to grow; usually the easiest relationship that forms is friendship. Why? Because friendship allows for mutual self-expression, comradely, support and accountability. Romantic relationships require a higher degree of intimacy, time and trust to create, so friendship is the first plant to sprout in these location pots. 
For so long I believed that the environment was what determined the growth of the friendship. But I’ve come to learn that even in the harshest of environments, plants that are well kept, live. The same with relationships. Even if you work in a miserable place, or live in a dangerous neighborhood, relationships that are well kept, live. So what keeps friendships alive? I found from my own relationships that fellowship for friendship is like water for plants. Fellowship is the sharing of hearts, and lives. It’s translated in the Greek as Kioninia which means communion. It’s more than just sharing food, it’s doing life together. It’s entering into emotional intimacy and spiritual connection with others. It’s highly risky. But it’s the best food for friendship.
So many people embark on friendship with others with no real commitment to make the time to have sincere fellowship with others. They just assume that the title they give to others is sufficient in keeping the relationship, but if I call someone my boyfriend and he’s never there when I call, and hardly hangs out with me and makes no time to see me, he’s not much of a boyfriend. So we give people the title of friend or assume the title for ourselves and we neglect quality time, we neglect pulling through for each other and worse, we neglect valuable fellowship. Then we wonder why our relationships are so brittle. Why they are so easily broken and why people fall on the wayside so often in our lives.

Fellowship strengthens the bond between people. On the outside it may look like we’re just sharing stories with one another. On the outside it may look like we are just enjoying good food. On the outside it may look like a simple stroll in the park. On the outside it may look like another boring small group. Yet, if we could see the spiritual realms around us, we would see a knitting of souls taking place, a knitting of hopes and fears, of lives and dreams. Fellowship requires investment, but so does everything that is worth it. If we take it upon ourselves to form friendships with other people, shouldn’t we care about maintaining them?

I don’t want to wake up one morning, go outside and find that my friendships withered from a lack of water. I want healthy, growing friendships in my life. We all do, so let’s water our friendships with fellowship. Not the fellowship that comes only when it’s convenient. Not the kind of fellowship that is hollow and superficial. But the kind that is refreshing, full of nutrients and love, a fellowship that is poured on our friendships daily.

Marian Amo, a prolific writer of poetry and creative nonfiction is a student of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer's Guild with a certificate in publishing and working towards an MFA. Her spiritual insight can be credited to the power of God's word, her personal experiences and her personal relationship with Christ. Marian grew up in New York City and has been exposed to a wide range of cultures and ideas, which have often challenged her faith. The consistency of the word of God shown true in a plethora of different circumstances has made her capable of delivering biblical insight that is relevant and practical.