When it comes to my favorite shows, artists or even celebrities, I love any “behind the scenes” clips I can find. Recently, Disney + launched a new documentary show called “The Imagineering Story,” which takes us behind the scenes to see how the magic of Disney comes to life through the daily hard work of others. These real stories encourage me because ordinary people made something extraordinary from their passion “off camera.”
This is why I also love concert documentaries with artists sweating through dance practice, hiring their background vocals and rehearsing their sets. Or when Jimmy Fallon interviews an actor and shares the funny story behind the movie. I even enjoy watching videos of my favorite makers frosting cookies or sculpting their mugs. I want to see the realistic work behind the end product because it reminds me that there is struggle, laughter, time and energy put into making beautiful things.
But what about the behind the scenes moments of my own life?
With social media, we get a lot of finished product images. We see the perfect homes, the crafty mothers, the healthy lunch or the fun girls’ weekend. When it comes to friendship, social media can make us forget there was quality relationship-building before the selfie.
My friend time is not noteworthy. My behind the scenes friendships happen in text threads, morning play dates and weekly small group. These relationships are cultivated in the ordinary moments that most don’t witness.
There are not many highlight reels for building trust and mutual respect.
No one is following me around with a camera watching me sweat through tough conversations or cry when I feel misunderstood and lonely.
We enjoy behind the scenes stories because it tears down the curtain of “how do they do that?” Whenever you look at other friendships and wonder –”how they do possibly connect so well? How do this group of moms make time for one another? How do they always have so much fun?”—remember that you don’t get access to all the ordinary occasions that built that particular community.
When we only look for the finished product, we will miss the beautiful process of creating genuine friendships. Are we willing to put in the time, energy and effort to growing relationships that can turn out as meaningful as you’ve imagined? I am reminded of a community of people who did a lot of behind the scenes work in Acts 2:42-47:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (NIV).
On the outside, people may have only witnessed the amazing miracles and never saw the beauty of meeting one another’s needs. They did not see believers gathering around the table to pray and give thanks. Yet, the Lord added to their numbers daily, growing the community in His extraordinary power. God will use your behind the scenes work to grow good things in your friendships. Remain steadfast in the everyday work of friendship.