Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Being a Friend

Not long ago, my child who is extremely outgoing, who likes almost everyone and has many different friends from a variety of activities and classes, wrote this note:

"Dear _____,
I don't have any friends in ballet. I want you to be my friend. Will you be my friend? I really want you to be my friend."

Apparently she does not have a friend in her ballet class, and she would really like one. As a mother, reading something like this is heart-breaking. My initial thought was "oh, honey, you DO have friends." Followed almost immediately by the fleeting thought, "should I change her class? I know what day and hour her friends from school take." Followed by a wave of relief that I saw the note BEFORE she gave it to anyone in the class. In our face-saving society, we shudder at the idea of something this vulnerable being shared with others who may not respond in tenderness and compassion.

And I think, perhaps our hearts hurt so deeply for someone in this situation because we KNOW the pain. At some point, to some degree, we've been there. We know what its like to feel alone; to feel like no one really understands; to feel like no one REALLY knows us. We know what its like to just wish for a friend.

I wonder how many women (or men for that matter) in my life feel that way right now? I wish I could tell them what I told my daughter: Sometimes we have to be the first one to reach out. Sometimes when we feel alone, we really just need God to open our eyes and show us that those around us may be just as lonely, just as shy, feel just as awkward, and want a friend just as bad. Perhaps they don't know the love of Christ, and therefore have no well from which to pour forth friendship.

If we know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and walk daily with Him, then we have the deepest, truest, sweetest friendship available. We have a deep well of grace and compassion and love and thoughtfulness from which to pour out friendship on others, because we can draw from the One who offers not only friendship, but the water of life!

"To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." (Revelation 21:6b)

"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." (Revelation 22:17)

If you know Jesus personally, then you not only have the greatest friend in all the world, you also have the deepest well to draw from in pouring out love and friendship on others. Instead of thinking "I wish I had a friend," we need to ask "How can I be a friend?" "How can I pour out God's love and care on others today?"

Lord give us confidence in our relationships with You. May we seek you alone for complete relational satisfaction. May we fill up at the well of your love and your grace. Then, let that abundance overflow and spill out into the lives of others in the form of Christ-like love and self-sacrificing friendship.

"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life'." (John 4:13-14)

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