While we may all have numerous friends with whom to share our lives, discussing progress and struggles and doing hobbies like playing music or hiking together, we typically only have a select few with whom we have a significant connection. These people play the roles of spouse, best friend, kindred spirit. We have special bonds with these people. Near and dear relationships like these hold a special place in our hearts and happen as a unique combination of individuals, but not all pairings of people will sustain a long term need for human connection. Yet a purpose can still exist in the seemingly more insignificant interactions.

Since each person has a unique makeup, not all interactions will match in correspondence. That doesn’t mean that a purpose can’t be served, whether great or small. Even the short term pairing can help you accomplish a task at work, help another person or yourself reach a goal, broaden your perspective on life as you understand that each set of eyes sees the world a little differently.

This can happen on a long- or short-term basis. For instance, I encounter these possibilities during my consultations at The Writing Center. Students make appointments to work on an essay during any part of the writing process, and I provide feedback that encourages growth as a writer as they progress the piece. I enjoy discussing the work with the people, and sometimes we get to discuss content at length and even their personal interests as they may pertain to the subject. As I read their words, I get a view of the way they see what’s around them. In turn, they see some of my perspective as we engage in dialogue about the topic. We may even communicate differently, but that just makes me adapt to make suggestions more accessible for the other person. Hopefully, they walk away with a great confidence in their writing skill and their ability to conquer their assignment as I helped them see the potential of their piece. In reading the pieces, I gain a broader view of the world as others see it. We may not develop a friendship, but we figured out how to correspond with each other effectively to make personal progress.

So appreciate those select few with whom you have strong bonds. Hold them close and appreciate that you share live together intimately. God gave you these people to support you through good and bad times. You can lean on them. They also reinforce your values and help keep you on track. God also places individuals in your life along your journey to let you see new aspects of lives and to touch others. Just like you recognize their perspective, they take in yours as well. Make it an opportunity to let God’s love shine through you, letting them see His glory as they remember the way you treated them. You never know how God will use your interactions.