Sep 142010

leech – noun     

1.  a bloodsucking worm

2. a person who clings to another for personal gain, especially without giving anything in return,  and usually with the implication or effect of exhausting the other’s resources; parasite.


I would guess she was early 20’s, although the fatigue in her face made her look a little older.  Growing up in foster care had certainly not preserved her youth.  She sat quietly, watching the toddler explore every corner of the room.  “Is parenting getting easier?” I wondered.  She nodded, and responded that they were in a pretty good place – past infancy but not yet to the terrible two’s and three’s.  She enjoyed him, that much was apparent.  “You have a place to live?”.  Yes.  “Enough food?”.  Yes again.  “Friends your own age?”  Hesitation, then no.  “Why?”, I asked.

They all want something from me, you know?  Something I’m not willing to give.  Sex, drugs, money, you name it.  The people I know who are my age are a bunch of parasites.

The impact of her statement silenced my questions.  I leaned against the padded back of the chair and my mind raced to my own friendships.  The value of having people my own age around me.  People who simply wanted to share conversations about the difficulty of raising kids, of maintaining romantic relationships, of shouldering the responsibilities of life.  Friends on whom I could call for help without the expectation of “payment” for their favor. 

What value can be placed on unconditional love?  On unconditional friendship?  On offering to weave your life together with someone simply because they are human, rather than because they can do something for you.  Want to end child abuse?  Stop the suffering of countless generations of families?  Start by finding someone who needs a friend and losing yourself, your own interests, your own expectations.  Start by falling in love with others.

(Christ’s) love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to GET something from us but to give everything of Himself TO us.  Love like that.  Ephesians 5:2 (MSG)

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