I’ve been thinking a lot about the beauty of friendship. Our friends exist on a continuum from the most casual to the most intimate, but they all make life more worth the journey. Literature holds so many profound quotes about friendship, but I’m partial to this one from Winnie-the-Pooh, “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be.”
A few days ago I hosted a few gal-pals to celebrate our dear friend’s 85th birthday and Galentine’s Day. The group of ladies that filled my living room ranged in age from 30 to 89. Most I’ve known my whole life but others I’ve met more recently, reminding us that a circle of friends can always get bigger. The cold and blustery day made being together feel that much warmer, and the memories will remain as sparkling as the punch, as sweet as the cake and as happy as the bouquet of flowers decorating the table.
Another day this week my husband and I attended a funeral visitation. Hundreds of people had come to say goodbye to their friend and offer condolences to her family. I was struck, though not surprised, how the line overflowed from the sanctuary and wound through the church. What a friend she must have been to her family, classmates, neighbors, co-workers, students, church, close friends and casual acquaintances. Several times I fought back tears at the example and victory of a life so well lived.
That same evening, we sat around a kitchen table playing dominoes with my lifelong friends and their dad. (I was in our friends’ wedding 37 years ago!) Our parents were all close friends for as long as we can remember, but there is only one left to play dominoes with us. I was so distracted by the bittersweet memories, I forgot most of the rules of Mexican Train and lost every single game, but it was an evening filled with the delight of friendship.
Now and then, the storm clouds of life make us especially grateful for those few special people who are there for us come rain or come shine. Just a couple of days ago, I needed to reach out to my closest crew for their support and guidance, and I only hope I can return the favor. Good old Pooh Bear said it best, “Anyone can show up when you’re happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, they are your true friends.”
As good and true as friends can be, there is someone else we can always count on. As the hymn goes, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” I’m honored to count God among my dearest friends. I know he was there at our party, at the funeral, around the kitchen table and in that moment when everything seemed to be falling apart. “Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.” §
“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet.
“Even longer,” Pooh answered.
~ A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
You must be logged in to post a comment.