I have a new friend, and she lives in a higher income bracket than I do. Will we be able to become close, lifelong friends? That’s kinda hard, you know.
When we lived in Monroe, our well produced water that stained our fixtures orange. I could scrub them every day and never completely remove the stains, and over time the color darkened. We grew accustomed to the rusty looking sinks and toilets, but I cringed when we had visitors. I struggled with humiliation about what we could and couldn’t afford, even as I thanked God for our country home.
In Zambia, the tables turned, where I was the one in the higher income bracket. It was so difficult to guard my heart against being suspicious of people and their motives for wanting my friendship.
Now, here my newest friend sits in my back yard, looking uncomfortable because I’d just put my foot in my mouth. We were talking about camping, and in my family tradition we enjoy roughing it a bit more than some folks. Electronic devices are off. Our clothes aren’t fashionable or pitch free. Our food is “add hot water and stir.” We sleep in a tent on pieces of foam and old sleeping bags, and we enjoy sitting in a folding chair looking at a river and a campfire with no neighbors nearby.
I mentioned that sleeping in a coach with a satellite dish and a generator didn’t qualify as camping. I forgot to temper my comments and consider that she may disagree. Oops!
“‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-32 NIV).
So, can people who live in different economic brackets truly become close friends? Jesus did. He is the Creator who took the form of the created, and he tells us there is no greater commandment than love. If my new friend is willing, we should get along just fine.
I wonder if she likes s’mores by the campfire.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis