I’ve learned a little bit about friendship over the years. Many lessons were learned on that grade school playground, but the one I want to share today I learned a number of years ago as an adult. It all began with a coyote.
My family and I were traveling to visit relatives when we saw a coyote on the plains in the distance. My husband mentioned how people hunt them down by using a wounded prey call. I don’t know how God gets your attention, but at that moment He got mine. The best way I can describe it is if my chest were a guitar, a string just got plucked. When that happens I pay attention. There was something about that “wounded prey call” statement, I just didn’t know what yet. I needed to give God time to explain. It didn’t take Him long to do just that.
A day or two later I found myself at church early and alone with my mentor. She and another woman taught a Sunday school class for young moms. (Don’t fit into that category anymore.) I asked her what came to mind when I mentioned “wounded prey call.” Without hesitation she explained, and God laid things bare through her.
She said we will encounter people in our lives that are wounded. Some will use their wounds as a call to draw us in. People may do this for a multitude of reasons, but in the case of a wounded prey call, the call is sounded while hunting, drawing an animal in to destroy it. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. She went on to say, we can’t help everyone and fix everything. Be wise. Don’t get distracted from what God has called you to do.
I took a moment to absorb her words. (I also pondered how she could figure things out so quickly, when it had evaded me for so long… 24 hours at least.) Wow. The wounded prey call revelation was one of three things that confirmed I wasn’t to pursue a friendship with a certain woman. She was a sweetheart, and I genuinely liked her. In fact, not growing a friendship with her wasn’t even on my radar until all this happened.
The second confirmation I received was my husband telling me he wasn’t comfortable with this friendship. He had never said that about anyone before and hasn’t since, so he had my attention. My husband is a believer, but even if yours isn’t, he is still your protector and teammate. If he sees danger ahead, respect his voice and heed his warning.
During that same time frame, a friend called shortly after I got off the phone with this person. I made an extremely vague comment in passing, not mentioning names or anything. It was something like - “I just got off the phone before you called.” I know it was the Holy Spirit, because she named names and firmly but lovingly told me to be careful. Now I’m not the brightest lightbulb out there, but I was beginning to catch a clue.
God knows our motives and wounds. He knows our capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. He knows who is seriously seeking help and who is simply seeking attention, wanting to draw us into their pit with them. He knows which friendships will be beneficial to them AND to us.
“Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;... everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” Isaiah 30:1,5 ESV