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Thursday, December 31, 2009


I often think about what true friendship really is.

We will meet many different people in our lives, and our and their lives will take many different twists and turns. Some of those journeys will be exciting, stimulating, and rewarding. Others will be devastating, painful and will seem unbearable.

It is easy to share and participate in another person's life when things are pleasant and good, but true friendship can usually be quickly discerned during times of turmoil and tribulation.

A true friend doesn't really care about the circumstances of the turmoil as much as the condition and well-being of the friend. A true friend cares very little about the potential of the storm as much as the condition and strength of the vessel. And that friend does all they can to help weather through that storm.

We all have times in our lives that bring us discomfort, pain, sadness, and despair. Some of those times are due to no fault of our own, but as for me, many are due to the results of my own actions.

My wife has been the greatest teacher I have ever met in regard to friendship. If she is your friend, which if you know her, I am sure she is your friend, and she is your ultimate friend. She actually doesn't know how to have just an acquaintance. Once you meet her, it isn't long until she knows everything about you and doesn't forget a piece of it. You also realize very quickly who she is, because she is transparent, never a hidden agenda, never a motive, never a false expression of emotion, she is real!

Liz has taught me that you do everything for your friends, everything and anything you can to make their lives better, for no better reason than that they are your friend and you care about them. Their journey is in many ways a part of your journey. We travel our journeys together, the good times and the difficult, but always together.

One might say that I can't take on the troubles of so many other people, that I have my own struggles to deal with. But isn't that self-centered? Isn't that selfish?

Friendship is a relationship of permanence, it isn't self-serving, but rather one of service, of love, forgiveness, charity, joy, and at times even sorrow. But you are never alone when you have a friend.

In this world of ours, many have been conditioned to be self-focused, and because of this abnormality they lack the ability to develop true friendships. With the lack of such friendships, they journey through life independently and through the best of times and the worst of times they are realistically alone. Superficially they might appear to have friendships, but they are void of depth and leave a person with a sense of loneliness.

That is one of the greatest problems of our current society, people lack real friendship. Having friends doesn't mean a physical presence, it is a connection, a bond, actually spiritual in nature. Because, we are to treat friends the same way our Lord treats us. By modeling our friendships in such a way, our friends are supported and nourished, and we are supported, cared for, and nourished. When friendship is looked at and respected as a gift from God, grace is allowed to enter into the relationship and the bond is able to take on a supernatural component.

What do I mean by supernatural? I mean that the relationship and aspects of the relationship in our earthly journey will present a variety of situations that call for growth, wisdom, and virtue that many of us would say requires more than we are capable of providing, yet we endure, we grow, we perform beyond what we thought we would capable of expressing, especially in the areas of forgiveness, understanding, empathy, and love.

I have thought about many 2010 resolutions, but one of the best would be for the development of at least 1 or 2 true friendships.

Thank you Liz for the life lesson.

Funny - the greatest lessons in life usually are taught
without any words, just by observing.

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