With a Little Help From My Friends
Woody and Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story” sang “You’ve got a friend in me!” There’s this thing about friendships. True friendships. Those friendships that pick us up just by showing up. And it doesn’t even have to be in person. It can be a phone call, text message, email, a Facebook comment, or a card. They seem to know when we need a pick-me-up — an encouraging word or “You’ve been on my heart lately” or they’re just checking in to see what’s up in our world.
Those are the friends that we know we can call any time of the day – they’ll be there. As busy as they may be – they’ll come to a screeching halt when they see our name pop up on their phone. And when they show up for us – we can tell we have their undivided attention. They make us feel we matter. When we’re together, they do that thing — that thing where they look right into our eyes and whisper secret truths to us. They surprise us with a hot fudge sundae when we’re under the weather.
They’re the ones who hold our hand tight while we’re trying to exhale. That thing they do? It’s life-giving. It’s oxygen and courage and conviction all rolled into one. It’s the kind of gift that can turn a day inside out. This is God-given, God-infused friendships. It’s what true friendships can do for one another. The ones that see through our words and heal us with the power of a word or laughter. Of encouragement. Of acceptance. And hospitality that’s contagious.
Sometimes we’re so busy wondering if we’re getting it right, so busy worrying we’re not measuring up, so caught up in thinking we need to be just like her or him that we forget they love us just the way we are. They love the joy and Jesus and friendship. Forget awkward, forget feeling small or insecure or worried about what they’re thinking.
This version of friendship is a true story, an old story, the same story that we’ve all been living. This is purposeful commitment of friendship that connects, mends, restores and heals us. This kind of friendship is the gift. It is the testimony of the brave who chose friendship in spite of fear. It’s the loud voice of comparison squashed down, drowned out, overcome by a choice to love, to love because Christ first loved us.
This brave choice is the laying down of jealousy, the raising up of encouragement. This is the cheering for someone else and feeling the powerful joy in return. This is where it’s okay to cry. This is where we nod our heads and open our arms and say, “Me, too. Yes, me too.” This is friendship on purpose. I see it in each of you who are my friends — in how you encourage, pray and reach out a kind hand in the comments on my blog and in other’s posts who reach out in distress. Day in and day out. I see you. I see how you believe the best, and hold up tired arms, and encourage the spirits here — how you whisper in other’s ears and in mind how brave you think we are. More importantly, God sees you and applauds you. On behalf of those of us who really, really need and want your friendship, just know how grateful we are — how grateful I am to call you friends.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”