I Believe In the Importance of Human Relationships

Cara - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on May 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism
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I believe in the importance of human relationships.

When I was a little girl, my mama told me she loved me every night as she tucked me in and rubbed the hair around my face. My daddy let me sit in his lap after dinner, taking bites out of his rocky road ice cream. Twenty-something years later I tell my parents I love them as I hang up the phone. I’ll stroke the hair next to my face when I feel lonely. I’ll think of my dad when I order rocky road.

When I was a little girl in Sunday school, somebody told me that Jesus was my friend and that he loved me. That he desired a relationship with me. I used to hug my pillow, pretending it was Jesus, when I was sad. Sometimes I still hug my pillow, but it’s harder to believe that Jesus desires a relationship with me.

When I was younger, I wanted to be liked and popular. I wanted dozens of friendships and maybe, if I was real lucky, a successful relationship with a boy. I stopped desiring that a while back. Who wants dozens of friends if you can have a few close friendships? Maybe it’s not so important to be popular anyway.

So I left for Barcelona in my third year of college. I didn’t need friends; I didn’t need to be popular. I had my books and my journal and the metro and the winding streets. Barcelona was going to be about me, not about relationships. I met a few girls on a tour the first day I was there. They asked for my phone number. I guess they wanted friendship. Clearly, they didn’t know that I had my books and my journal to keep me company.

I didn’t desire friendship, but friendship found me in the form of the three girls who asked for my number on my first day in a city far, far from home. And my books and my journal couldn’t keep me company on days when I felt so, so homesick. On days when I wanted to be back in bed with my mom stoking my hair, with my dad patting my back. And my books and my journal couldn’t make meals with me and laugh with me and cry with me.

I believe in the importance of human relationships.

I’m about to move again. And I’ll have my books and my journal, but I haven’t fooled myself into thinking that they can keep me company. Human relationships are irreplaceable. And maybe that’s why it’s harder to believe in Jesus when I all I have is a pillow to hug. Maybe that’s why it means more for me to feel my mom’s soft, weathered hands against my face. Maybe that’s why we were all placed on this earth. These messed up people, made to love one another.