My friend and co-worker at TreeHouse LeAndra Williams has a great spin on friendship. So, LeAndra, take it away!
“After many years and different friendships I have come to a place in my life to recognize helpful and hurtful friends. I have had the privilege to experience both.”
Lee, what have you learned?
“The first step to recognize if you have helpful or hurtful friend is to see which category your friend fits in. Friends are usually in one of these categories. A friend is either an Adder, a Subtracter, a Multiplier, or a Divider.”
Let me explain:
I’m reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It’s been a hard book to read; lots of pain.
“If you hear in my voice — I don’t know that it is so, but I hope it is — if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, weep for it!
If you touch, in touching my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free, weep for it, weep for it!
Unconditional love, unfailing love (as the Bible calls it) or “love without strings” as we call it at TreeHouse is a rare & precious commodity.
A commodity that you and I can increase.
To paraphrase Leo Buscaglia, “A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be herself or himself
– to laugh with me, but never at me;
– to cry with me, but never because of me;
– to love life,
– to love yourself,
– to love being loved.
Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.” 1
I wrote my first Spoken Word poem today.
Some would say, “I wish he would crush me.
I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me…
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me…my cry to him reached his ears…
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock…
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
My wife and I traveled to California recently to see our friends Jill & Eric Lacher. In the past few days I told tales of Sierra, Max and Eric. In this fourth installment of “Lessons from Lachers” I’m going to tell you about Jill.
For several years I worked with Jill Lacher at a remarkable place called TreeHouse. At TreeHouse Jill was able to captivate people — teens and adults — with her friendly and outgoing personality.
At TreeHouse Jill was legendary for her kindness, compassion and care for others; and the occasional late-start to a meeting because she was helping someone. As Eric explained, “with Jill, compassion trumps time.”
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
in Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
Amy, Jill, Eric and I were driving back toward San Jose when Eric pulled the car into a parking lot facing the ocean.
Eric knew that we would love to watch the sun set over the ocean.
While we we admiring the setting, Eric got up without a word and walked over to a pile of sticks. At least that’s what I saw. Jill saw a wood pile that had been gathered and positioned for the evening fire. Eric saw something else.
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
in Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values
Our recent trip to California was amazing. The weather was beautiful – not the ten inches of snow beautiful that fell here last night – but mountains of green, hearts of kindness and Max.
Max, you say?
We were visiting our friends Jill and Eric Lacher. They have a dog, a Rottweiler, named Max. Here’s pictured with Jill.
I had met Max one time briefly when he was young. Jill was at our house for a roofing project, and Eric and Max stopped over. Eric held Max on leash. It was a brief acknowledgement of one another, but I was busy.
My wife and I traveled to California recently to see our friends Jill & Eric Lacher.
They drove the forty-five minutes from San Jose to Oakland to sit in rush hour traffic to pick us from the airport. Rather than be frustrated and relieved to see us, their smiles beamed from inside their car.
Hugs abounded and smiles continued as we entered the car heading to San Jose.
We exchanged small talk and stories.
We listened and laughed.
While it’s true that love can happen anywhere, there are standards and expectations that provide an environment in which a healthy community grows.
As I wrote yesterday, “every week as I sit in our TreeHouse support groups I am in awe. Teens find hope amid their hurt, faith amid their fears, and love despite their pangs of loneliness…I wish everyone had a community like that.”
I Wish We Did Too
As my friend Hudson pointed out tonight, the following list is a wish list — Imagine If… — based on hopes and dreams. While some of them are possible, and others are measurable, there are on the list that are almost fantasies; but, still we reach and stretch for more.
Every week as I sit in our TreeHouse support groups I am in awe. Teens find hope amid their hurt, faith amid their fears, and love despite their pangs of loneliness.
I wish everyone had a community like that.
As I tell the teens all the time, this level of communication, this kind of intimacy and this freedom to be flawed or successful without judgement can happen anywhere, at anytime when people have the same vision and similar communication skills.
Love can happen anywhere.
It’s a choice.
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