My 500 Words January 19, 2014 FRIENDS…



I’ve heard it said if you can count your close friends on one hand you are a blessed and rare person.

Definition of a friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection of personal regard.

Interestingly enough, when I researched the definition of the word “friend”, it gave social-networking contacts as one of the definitions.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a host of others I am not personally familiar with, are all designed to connect you with your “friends”.  I can follow and be followed by people I don’t even know and will probably never meet in my lifetime.  It’s interesting and uncomfortable at the same time.  Learning, expanding my world view and gleaning wisdom from other people is intriguing.  On the other hand, opening my life to strangers is a bit awkward.

What is your definition of a friend?  What is your criteria for sharing your heart?  Who do you call your friend?

In their respective generations, television sit-coms like “Friends” and “Cheers”, highlighted friendship and relationships in a whole new light.  I often find myself humming the line from the “Cheers” theme song….’You wanna go where everybody knows your name’.

Isn’t that what we are all searching for?  Someone to know our name….love us as we are, warts and all?  Somebody who wants to spend time with us…be interested in the details of our life?

Being an only child, my friends become like family.  Having a sibling to call or reach out to is an unknown reality for me.  There are areas of my life that have been lonely and solitary.

There are those friends that come into your life for a specific season.  You need what they have to offer and they need what you have to offer. You learn and grow in each other’s presence.  Time together is sweet and refreshing.  I have learned to hold these seasonal friends loosely. They will come and go…..they were never designed to be forever friends.

The forever friendships in your life need to be cherished, nurtured, protected at all costs.  I regretfully admit that I have not always been a trustworthy friend.  I have been responsible for causing damaging fractures in friendships.  Forever friends are rich and priceless…I will be ever grateful for the forgiveness extended to me with grace and the offer of new beginnings… a clean slate.

Terry Hershey, in his book, “Sacred Necessities”, writes that without friendship we cannot be fully human or fully alive. He expands the thought with this, “by our intentional decision to open ourselves to friendship, we choose to stand up and be counted and be defined by our choices.  It means that I choose to communicate.  To ask. Tell. Play. Invite.  Be present. Push. Give and take. Be a sounding board.  Write a note.”

I happened across a blog today by Shaun Groves.  He shared insights about a book he had just finished reading,  Fables of Fortune: What Rich People Have That You Don’t Want, by Richard Watts.
The blog included this quote from the book.  I found it interesting…
“Friendship — genuine friendship — is an irreplaceable gift. In a sense, friendship acts to level the valleys of the human experience, filling in the potholes of everyday life. A sincere friend accepts you as you are, in spite of your flaws. They offer companionship and comfort, acting as a sort of emotional  scanner that can identify your undisclosed hurts and desires. Genuine friends are assets who help you overcome and forget the negative and rejoice in the positive. Life is not meant to be lived alone.” – pg 105.

I would encourage you to be the kind of friend you want to have in your own life.  Plant seeds of kindness, joy, and compassion in the lives of those around you and see what springs up in your heart and the hearts of those around you.