People who have been to the Broaddus Household have seen our “family wall”. Someone once described it as the visual story of our lives, a reminder of the people who make up the fabric of our lives. The story starts when you first enter our front door with pictures of our biological family (family by blood).

It winds around the corner along the hallway of the bedroom for our friends family (family we choose).

There is a blank space above the hutch in our dining room. That is where the pictures of my “writing family” is going.

I know that I’m in the minority in thinking this, but while all groups have cliques, there are good cliques and there are bad cliques. Good cliques are a close group of friends, people who naturally gel together. Closer friendships/relationships will just happen among folks; this is how community is formed. Bad cliques are an exclusionary group, folks who run around for all intents and purposes saying “you” can’t be our friend.

You know what? Cliques happen. Some people gel together more quickly and closer levels of frienship develop with some than with others. On the flip side, some people struggle with the idea of community, having been betrayed or abused by it in the past. They don’t trust it, don’t want to trust it, and look for the first signs of history repeating itself. In a lot of ways, this stunts their ability to create circles of friends.

I think some people see a close knit community and long to be a part of something like that themselves not quite realizing that these things form over time – a mix of chemistry and history that leads to intimacy. At the same time, sometimes—whether by choice (not hanging out with their folks) or by action (by breaking trust)—people remove themselves from those circles, which makes it hard to complain about not being in folks’ inner circle. I think I’ll take up this topic in this week’s Friday Night Date Place.

My family wall humbles me. When I walk up and down the hallway I, realize how blessed we are. Some people are lucky to find one good friend, much less the bunch that we have. Still, my feelings are tempered by realizing how much work we put into making those friends. And friendships take work.