We were not in Ohio anymore.
I went to college in Mississippi where, known or unknown by the greeter at Ajax diner, you were likely welcomed with a big smile, called some sort of affectionate name like: sweetheart (#1 choice), dahlin, shuga (my favorite), or honey. And if you had ever in your life met this greeter before, a hug was sure to follow...oh and everyone "just loves you to death!"
When I moved to Kansas City from Oxford, MS...I was SURE no one liked me. No one called me shuga, hugged me upon arrival at church or professed their love to me (even though we just met). It hurt, I didn't understand.
It was in worship one day, in the midst of loneliness that God began to speak to me in my heart. Do not confuse culture and personality with character! Ah, thank you Lord.
What is the gauge of a friend? Is it friendliness and activity, which can be personality or culture? Or is it integrity, which takes a lifetime of yielding to God's will and Word?
Not long after that, I began to see the precious people around me for who they really were...regardless of how outgoing, how they received me, or how I was treated. I believe that day God gave me just a small glimpse into how to see people how HE sees them, through the eyes of love. Let me say, I am still a work in progress.
A person is not a better friend because they are friendly. Outgoing. Introspective. Loud. Quiet. These have to do with how our Creator made us...not with our character.
Let's reach past the uncomfort of not being "similar" to someone or "received" by someone and look into character. Let's look for whatever is true, noble, whatever can be admired in the lives around us!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."