Photography by Jen Curtis
"Friendship colors the very air we breathe. It is everywhere around us. We can see it in the eyes of old women in the kitchens of the women they love. We can hear it in the voices of one young woman giggling to another over the phone. We can feel it beating in our own hearts on lonely rainy days in faraway places when, most alone, we are haunted by the memory of those who have walked through life with us, and walk with us still. Friendship binds past and present and makes bearable the uncertainty of the future."
Joan Chittister, The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the Bible
I have been tremendously blessed by the women in my presence over the last month. Whether they were across from me at dinner, next to me in class lecture, present with me through the power of prayer, related to me or the voice on the other end of the phone, I have been blessed by friendship. There hasn't been anything dramatic or earth shattering in my personal life where these friends have 'had' to step up. These women have just been beacons of light in my life because they chose to be, because they wanted to be, because they are sweet rubies. How have you been touched by the love of a friend, new or old? How have you reached out and loved a friend recently? Did you feel God working in that?
Friendship is a gift from God. Not just a gift given to us but a gift we have been empowered to give to others. It's not enough to be the receipient of the love of a great friend. It is a blessing to simply be a great friend. Sometimes being there for someone is difficult, not because you don't want to be, but because your schedules are out of sync, busy, chaotic, untamed. Maybe its been hard for you to be there for an old friend who you've grown distant from. It could be that you're not sure how they will respond to your act of love. You might even be afraid of rejection. Or maybe you're still hurt over a previous dispute and you haven't yet humbled yourself to the act of forgiveness.
There will never be a shortage of reasons why "not" to do something, but God will never run out of reasons why we should. Don't be afraid to keep old friends, make new friends, renew weathered friendships and rejuvinate stagnat ones. Step outside your comfort zone to discover friendships that cannot only revitalize you but transform you. Attempt to befriend someone you might not typically reach out to and watch God work within the both of you and reveal the beautiful blessings that await you. Most importantly, do not neglect the most precious friendship of all, the one you have with Jesus. Let that friendship be a model and an example for all other friendships.
Friendship is a gift...cherish it.
One who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but one who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends. Proverbs 17: 9
No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) ones own life for their friends. John 15: 13
You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. John 15: 14
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15: 15
Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend's counsel that comes from the heart. Proverbs 27: 9
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to Gods promise, and the Lord can be depended on); by God you were called into companionship and participation with the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1: 9
Photography by Jen Curtis