I was at a crowded party; the room was filled with my acquaintances and brimming with laughter and joy. Across the room, I saw my friend, who I'll call Danielle. She was alone, staring at me with a woebegone and helpless expression, holding out an empty paper cup.
"Can you get me a drink of water, Becca?" Her eyes burned into mine.
I hesitated. I didn't particularly enjoy Danielle's company, and I was anxious to join in the joking and witty conversation swirling around us. Danielle spoke slowly and thoughtfully, and could be rather clingy.
"I'm kinda busy, Dani," I said, edging toward the door, eyeing the water cooler across the room. "You can go get one."
"No, Becca," She pleaded softly, "You need to get it for me."
I shook my head. No, I had my own needs, my own friends, my own life to live.
Suddenly, a group of people surrounded her, handing her cups full of water, asking her questions, fulfilling her needs. She didn't even acknowledge them, but continued to stare at me with that haunting expression.
And so the dream ended.
It's a good reminder for me as I enter the next semester at school. Too often, I neglect the real-life Danielle, and those like her (those who don't know how to forge their own way in a group situation, and who need advocates to pull them into conversation, to be an ear, a support, a confidence-booster).
Too many people who don't function well in group social settings are just ignored, or worse yet, ridiculed, and I must not stand by and let them walk this life alone. God, let me be the friend to the friendless. Let me fill paper cups with Your love.