“A friend is some who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
Genuine friends are there for us through thick and thin. We are perhaps now mindful of our friends and how well (or not) they ‘conform’ to this friendship ideal.
Perhaps even more poignant for us personally, however, is how faithful a friend are we proving? How long is it since we made contact with our good friends or sent them loving encouragements? Most of the time we’re perhaps thinking about how well (or not) we might be supporting our friends. This is not bad as much as we’re focused on our friendships—which is good.
A good friend is not perfect, but they’re real with us. They somehow know how to tell us things without ‘telling’ us, i.e. we don’t feel ‘told’. They seem to blend truth beautifully with grace, for they’re motivated for our best.
As friends we mentor each other. It’s a relationship based in equity and fairness. I wondered aloud with my wife some time ago that it’s a pretty weird concept that I sleep with my best friend. We both laughed. She just said, characteristically I might add, “You’re funny.”
Friendship of the most genuine variety is probably God’s greatest gift of love to us, as God’s often ministering to us through our friendships.
Real friendship is nothing about give and take. It’s all about love, and love is never about give and take. Love just ‘is,’ and it doesn’t need a reason to give or receive, and it certainly doesn’t feel guilty either side of that equation; just motivated to do its best.
Being That Friend
God’s most special challenge for all of us—besides the one to love God—is to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Our neighbours are to be our friends—if they’ll choose for it. And even if they don’t we interact with them in friendly ways, always.
Being that friend through thick and thin is a great privilege of love. Without seeking back the love it projects, friendship is a sacrifice that sees no wrong on the other person’s side. All it sees really is the opportunities before it.
Friendship – Mirroring Our Identity
Friendship’s essence—that which is captured in the uppermost quote—is that it knows us as much as we know ourselves (well, as much as any friend can!).
As we lose our way, friends can see and they know just how to bump us gently back onto track. Our challenge as friends is to know how to tactfully do this, customised to the friend, their situation and exact context. And though sometimes we’ll fail to get it right, friends forgive each other, right?
Personal identity is perhaps one of the most important possessions we’ll ever have. It is friends that assure us and reassure us as time and again they prove to be ‘God in skin’.
Salute a close friend today. I dare you.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.