“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
This past weekend, my husband and I were so honored to go and celebrate a wedding with some of our closest friends. Not that all weddings aren’t special, but this one was so dear to our hearts because we were able to see the ones we love that we normally don’t get to see. And, while I was sitting there eating my bread pudding, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of ultimate gratitude to be seated with those who I love and who love me in return. I see the smiles, and hear the chatter, and it warms me body and soul. I mean, who else can I do the “Running Man” on the dance floor with??
I was also struck by the fact that since my parents were out of town, my children all had to stay at different friend’s houses. Again, what a blessing it is that we have not one, but three different houses where our children feel loved and protected while their parents are gone. Plus, I am blessed by the friendships by those who loved on my children. It truly does take a village, doesn’t it?
The longer I stayed in my cozy fuzzy place of recognizing my blessings, I realized that so many live without knowing the true gift of friendship. We think that friendships are supposed to be easy and full of laughter…but, not always. I have friends that go back over 20 years, and although we have shared many “wonder years” moments and crazy memories, we have also shared heartache that would have been unbearable if we had to go through it alone. And, many times, most people are so disconnected with others, they do go through these times alone.
We were not created to be island. We were created to live in community with those around us. It doesn’t mean that we will share our deepest longings with everyone, but it does mean that we crave real relationship. I guarantee there is someone on your street that is yearning for a listening ear, or there is someone at your grocery store that just wants to be acknowledged with a smile. Reach out to those around you. And, don’t always gravitate towards that people are the easiest to be friends with. Sometimes the most rewarding friendships are those that take the most work. I challenge you to make a difference in the lives of those around you, and allow others to bless you in the same way. You never know, you may be creating the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
John 15:12-13-“ My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”