“When you can’t run anymore, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl – when you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” ~ Firefly
I spend a lot of time talking about friends.
But that is because friendship is one of the most important things to get you through life. They are the ones to laugh in your joy, cry in your pain, and pull you along when you don’t have the strength.
But what is a true friend? In an age where you “friend request” someone on Facebook after meeting them for 5 min, I wonder if we have lost the true meaning of what it means to be a friend…
The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?
– Eugene Kennedy
Friends are the ones who you can sit and simply enjoy being in each others company. You don’t have to “do” anything. You are just simply “there”. The silence isn’t awkward because no words are needed. You don’t feel uncomfortable doing nothing because you don’t need to put on a show for them. You can simply be who you are. Nothing added to make yourself look good, nothing taken away to make yourself look bad. You are simply you.
This quality is most important (in my experience) when we are going through rough times. Yes, you need people to talk to, and we’ll get to that later, but when you first start dealing with it, you need people who you can just go and be with, so you’re not alone during this time, but you don’t feel the need to say what you don’t know how to say, so you can just process. You don’t have to fake being “ok”, you can just “be”
“We get alongside those who walk with God […] Simply put, that is what church is supposed to be about. Would that it were. I hope you find a few folks who walk with God to also walk with you through the season of your life. But honesty-and scripture-forces me to admit they are a rare breed. Few there are who find it. All the more reason for you to make the number less scarce by becoming someone who walks with God and teaches others how” ~ John Eldredge, “Waking the Dead”, pg 107
Second, we need friends who will push us to grow. Friends who can speak into our lives and our situations with wisdom. Friends who will push us further into a relationship with God. These are the people who, after you sit and process a bit, you talk to about what’s going on, seek counsel from, and the ones who will call you out when you are being stupid about something.
If you are lucky, you will find a friend of each type. I have a few friends of each type and it’s great.
But if you are REALLY lucky, as I have been, you will find a friend or two who have both characteristics. Those are what we call Best Friends. The ones you can do nothing with, you can talk to and push you to grow. These are even fewer and further between, but it shouldn’t be. And the best way to change that is, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. So that is the friend I strive to be. I often fail at it, but I try, and at least that’s something…