I’m picky about some things. Probably more than just some things. If you even suggest that this sci-fi movie is well worth my time, I won’t believe you. I don’t have time for that. Come at me with even a shred of coconut, and you better back up very slowly. I swear it’s from an awful place of which I don’t want to know. Suggest that I sleep in a tent and cook over a fire, and I will most likely laugh, thinking that you were just teasing, because you know I don’t do tents. Or outside. I do beach outside. And pool outside. And Spring flowers outside and Fall leaves outside. But I don’t sleep outside. God gave us beds and air conditioning. And He most certainly knows how thankful I am for them. I have no problem with sci-fi loving, coconut eating people who go camping. At all. I know many and am related to a few. I love them. But count me out, have fun, and see you later. And don’t complain to me if a bear attacks your tent.

The older I’m getting, the pickier I am about a whole laundry list of things. Off-brand salsa is not welcome here. I can no longer put the cheapest loaf of bread in my cart. I can now enjoy the finer things in life with only one child left in the house. He basically doesn’t eat, so I’m buying the bread I want. And gasp…I’ve been known to buy name-brand cereal that is packaged in a box. I know. It’s big stuff. Not the 12 pound bag of off-brand cereal. The real stuff. I’m starting to feel fancy. And those laundry pods you just throw in the washing machine? They are straight from heaven. 

Now that you know I’m a coconut and salsa snob, please allow me to share what I’m most picky about:  friends. You see, I have this big circle, and the further you are toward the center, the fewer of you there will be. Before you think I’m a friend snob, I will remind you that Jesus had very few “close” friends, as well. And if He modeled it, then I’m not beating myself up for it. Here’s how I break my circle down. I’m using grocery shopping as my example. Mostly because I just remembered I desperately need to do so.

1. Acquaintances that I smile at when I’m shopping:  outside the circle entirely

2. Women that I will stop my cart for and chit-chat about light topics: outer ring of the circle

3. Friends that I will spend an evening with at dinner or a movie: central ring of the circle

4. My bffs that I share life with: Bullseye

Let me be transparent here, no one has the energy to give themselves fully to every woman they know. It’s not possible. Should we be kind, considerate, compassionate, and caring to them? Absolutely. It’s pretty clear that Jesus’  bullseye had Peter, James, and John in the dead center. They were so very unique in their character. Jesus loved his disciples dearly, but He had an inner circle. Maybe they “got him” more than the others. You know, the friends you have that finish your sentences? That you can just look at across the room and know exactly what they are thinking? The ones you shouldn’t sit beside at an important meeting, because invariably you both will start giggling without any chance of stopping? Bullseye.

My “go-to” friend verse says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, New Living Translation, NLT).

Walking with Jesus was never meant to be a solo act. I can’t possibly count how many times I’ve fallen and my friends have picked me back up and helped steady my feet. I’ve reached out, and I’ve felt the tight grip of my tribe. These lovely souls bring you chocolate when you’re sad. They listen to you. They correct you when you’re off the path, and they text at all times of the night when you can’t sleep. They dry your tears and tell you that everything is going to be okay. You know why? Because if you’re picky, you’ve got a few bullseye friends that love Jesus with all of their hearts. They love like Jesus does. They are his hands and feet. There’s nothing I want more in life than this kind of friend :

 “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (I Samuel 18:1, NLT).

I want “soul sisters” whose hearts are knit to mine. Strong bonds that can’t be broken. But there’s something I want more than anything. I want to put aside my comfort and never-ending list of needs. Yes, I crave what my people give to me. I couldn’t have made it without it. But, my deep desire is to BE a bullseye friend. I want to be a friend who brings the chocolate. And I can text all times of the day and night. I’m your gal. I can be silent. I can speak. I want to be Jesus’ hands and feet and remind my inner circle that it’s okay. That their pain is temporary. That joy comes in the morning. That yes, it’s worth it to keep going. That when they feel everyone has forgotten them, I haven’t. And neither has Jesus. I’ve no time for solo acts around here. And I’m not too proud to admit it. It seems to ebb and flow, this crazy inner circle of friends thing. We like to say that we all have our seasons and if we wait long enough, the season will end. My season has been a long one. But it will be someone else’s turn for us to pick them up and steady their feet. We will even carry each other if we need to. I like to think that my picky self has some incredible bullseye friends. And they are a gift from Jesus, Himself. I have the chocolate to prove it.

Mary Roth

Mary Roth

"The One who calls you is faithful , and he will do it" (I Thessalonians 5:24)