I would like to dedicate this post to my late mother-in-law, Ida. Whose birthday we remember this Memorial Weekend. She was the best of friends to many people including me.
As a very shy kid in a military family, moving every 2 years, usually mid school-year, going to 14 different schools growing up, making and keeping friends was not easy. I am so glad for my extroverted little brother, Steve. He would introduce me to his friends. But I was always in search of that special friend. Then one would come along and say they wanted to fill that roll. What a lovely surprise!
Looking back I know what made them so unforgettable. It was their love. That kind of love is called agape. It is goodwill toward others, putting others above self. It is the one who sits by the lonely new kid and shares their lunch and starts asking genuine questions that say I want to get to know you better. I want to know the real you.
My closest friends are the ones who make me laugh. (I like to make them laugh too.) They are the ones who call just to say “Hi, how are you.” without an agenda. They are not necessarily just like me. My brother was an opposite yet we are very close. My husband has a very different way of looking at some things, but after 45 years together, he still can make me laugh and brighten my day. Then there is my guy bff in Norway. We get together on Skype and have visited each other’s homes in past years. His point of view is often not what I expect, but spot on. Learning about his culture has been a wonderful gift. Norwegians eat a lot of fish. Until I met him Tuna was it for me. Now I know that Red Fish from the North Sea are much better. Those are my closest guy friends.
I have also been blessed with girlfriends. Lost track of teenage Nancy from Bangkok. Hope we find each other again someday. She played the piano by ear and had such a great laugh. Linda & Linda, I had 2 best friends with the same name in high school. So we called one Lin to avoid confusion. We still keep in touch. Then there was Jancy from college. We lost touch after school and marriage and moving. She recently found me through a FB contact. We reconnected after 40 years apart. It was like we never parted. Jancy was always full of energy and sweetness. She was an elementary school art teacher. What a fun job! I had a great work BFF. She was 15 years older than me, but we were almost instant kindred spirits. We remained close many years after the time at work until she died last year. She was full of wisdom and truth. Missing her. And Shirley who sat down beside me in church one day and said my little girl was so beautiful. We have now been close for almost 30 years. We watched our kids grow and now the grands.
I consider clients my friends, my extended family, too. Have a lot of cousin friends. There are others, so if you don’t see yourself here, don’t think I didn’t notice your kindness and the impact you had on my life. I hope I was a positive influence on yours too.
I have another friend, who ties all of us together and makes us one in spirit. He said, “…I have called you friends…” to His followers. Jesus is the best roll model when it comes to friendship. If you have not already met Him, I hope you do.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
It was their love.