“I don’t do friendship.” Her face was calm and without malice as she spoke the words.

I stared for a moment. “You mean, at all?” I was incredulous, but somewhere in my spirit I was intrigued.

“Oh, no, I mean close friendship. You know, bosom buddies, BFF’s, that sort of thing.”

I wasn’t sure whether to be sad for her resignation or glad to know there’s another soul on the planet in my boat.

I had to know more. “Were you burned by friends in the past?”

Her gaze moved to something far off, her brow wrinkling. “Yeah, I guess you could say that. But it’s more than that. It…it’s hard to explain in a way that makes sense. I know this is going to sound completely off-the-wall, but…well, my husband is my best friend, and I don’t feel like I need another one.”

This was too much. Her, too? There were two of us?

She continued, looking back at me with gentle eyes. “I think it’s a lesson I’m supposed to be learning or something. Every time I have tried to get really close with another woman, something always happens. And I don’t mean just normal stuff. I mean that sudden out-of-nowhere volcano eruption that cuts deep, that severs something that can’t be fully repaired. I feel like God is closing the door on these deep friendships because He wants me to depend on Him and on my husband for that kind of closeness.”

I shifted uncomfortably. This girl needed to get out of my head!

“I know it all sounds really crazy.” When she smiled her eyes glistened. “I don’t talk about it much because not many people get it. And honestly, I get why they don’t get it. It sounds like I’m nuts.”

My voice cracked a little when I spoke. “Actually I don’t think you’re nuts at all.”

“You don’t? Wow. That might be a first.” She chuckled then.

“I thought it was just me with feelings like this.” I shrugged, uncertain of how much to reveal. Ironic, I thought, given how guarded she obviously kept herself. “It sure was simpler when we were children, wasn’t it?”

“Don’t get me wrong,” she hurried on to say. “I am not anti-friend, at all. I’m just doubting the wisdom in me being really close with another woman in friendship. I don’t put this on anyone else, believe me. In some ways it’s rather lonely. But to be truthful, not living life waiting for the eruption? Well, there’s a lot to be said for the peace that comes with that.

I nodded. She had given me much to ponder. I wondered if her being a pastor’s wife had anything to do with the depth of her conviction in what she had shared. I’ve known a few pastors’ wives, and they all seem to struggle with friendship because people tend to either idolize or vilify them (and usually both). I’m not a pastor’s wife, but I could totally relate to her thoughts. Maybe a little more than I was prepared to fully consider.

But I do have some thinking to do.


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