I admit it. I get lost in movies. Swept away by a good story. Caught up in great characters. I saw a movie recently, and while I wouldn't say it had either of the above, it did have something I liked a lot: relationships. The movie is aptly titled "The Women," and its focus is on the relationships between the four women in the story.
Throughout the movie you watch these extremely busy, very different women connect with each other ... over lunch, over manicures, over the telephone ... and you get a sense of how important they are to one another. Sure, in a glance it looks superficial, but I think a deeper look reveals a picture of people investing in each other without need of excuse or the pull for productivity.
I don't know about you, but I don't spend a lot of time with my friends. I'm talking about "no agenda, no errands, no exercise, no excuse" together-for-the-fun-of-it time. In the past when I've "made time" for my girlfriends, it has been with a premise: book club, scrapbooking, exercising, Bible study, or some other pursuit. Watching the women in this film made me wonder, "Isn't relationship alone a worthy enough reason to be with one another?"
Today I had such an experience when I met two friends for lunch. Usually this means a quick bite and then we're off our separate ways to run errands. Today, however, we sat outside enjoying the unseasonable warmth and, before I knew it, two hours passed in relaxed, real conversation.
I tell you -- it was just what I needed. If it hadn't been time to pick up the boys, I probably could have sat with them for another two hours. It felt luxurious. Pampering. Good for me. And for a moment, I felt guilty. Indulgent. Selfish. (I know I'm not alone in this reaction.) Why? Why did I need to justify the two wonderful hours I spent with these friends?
The truth is we need each other. We need to invite friends into our lives. We need to invest our time in relationships. We need to share our stories. We need to relax and laugh together. It's refreshing; it's restorative; and it's really, really okay.
So, the next time I see girlfriends on the big screen, I'm going to let them serve as a reminder that I need some time with my friends. Not to DO anything ... just to BE (be together, be real, be comfortable, be content, be silly, be fed, be encouraged, be relaxed, be loved, BE).