I look at the blank white space below the word above as it sits all lonely at the top of my page. I wonder how I am meant to fill it up describing something I feel so central to my core and yet find so hard to express or communicate. So much love in the world, so little true friendship.
Do you know the person sitting next to you? Do you know the story behind their tears or their laughter? Do you know their struggles and what they’ve been through? Do you? Should you care? Is it your business? True, you have your struggles too. You have your fish to fry and your axes to grind. They may not even ask that much about you or how you’re doing. They may not care about where you stand or sit or lie. In fact, they may be happier walking past you when you fall because it proves to them that they are not the worst people in the world and somehow soothes their battered self-esteem.
Your efforts to be a friend may even have backfired or blown up in your face. Yes, you may have tried to mediate in a conflict or tried to do the right thing and been rewarded for your efforts with ridicule and public loss of face. You may even have been reminded of your own failings in your attempt to advise a person you thought was a friend. That was the collateral damage in this war.
But was it really worth it? What were you fighting for in this cold war? What did you want? What did you set out to achieve?
The bond of friendship
The crutch of companionship
The blanket of belonging
The balm of camaderie
The whispers of soul conversations
The spring of shared joy
The well of shared sorrow
The hand hold of fellowship
The embrace of random family
The helping hand in the drowning deluge of depression
The shore to the stranded swimmer at sea
The beacon, lifeboat and flare in this stormy sea called life
This is why you left the comfort of your home, this is why you set forth at dawn.
Dedicated to my friend Abigail.
Make your motions and cast your votes,
but God has the final say. (Prov. 16 vs. 33, The Message)