Friendship is being there, no matter what the personal cost. It is refusing to count your difficulties, and choosing instead to count your opportunities. It is sacrificing your time and energy for the benefit of the other, to show them some genuine love and minister to their heart and soul.
Friendship takes work to cultivate and maintain. It takes continual effort if it is to be a Christ-honoring friendship. It means taking time to pray, keeping up with circumstances, rejoicing when they rejoice and weeping when they weep.
Friendship requires humility to grow and thrive. Putting the other person first. Looking to meet their needs regardless of your own desires. It means being generous and sensitive and always welcoming, whether they call at 3 in the morning or knock on the door right at suppertime.
Friendship is watching your friend’s four-year-old for several hours on a day when you’d rather stay curled up in bed. It’s remembering to call the day after something crazy happens to them… and the day after that, and the day after that… just to make sure they’re okay. It’s being all goofy and embarrassingly silly for the purpose of getting a smile on their face. It’s bringing them a cup of their favorite coffee and a donut – or not bringing one, because you know they’re trying desperately to lose weight.
Friendship is work. But friendship – true “call me at 3 AM” friendship – is so worth it. Friendship like that is there whenever humanly possible. Friendship like that will sleep on the uncomfortable chair in your hospital room when you have to stay overnight for tests or treatments. Friendship like that doesn’t hesitate when you’re broken down an hour away, just asks for directions and jumps in the car to come get you. Friendship like that puts their life on hold when you need someone just to hold your hand and tell you everything will be okay.
Friendship is love, humility, grace, sensitivity, honesty, laughter, and tears. It is “being Christ” to another person. Letting Him love them to the fullest through you.
Friendship is one of the greatest blessings we have on this earth, and also one of the hardest things to make a priority sometimes. It needs to be one, but life gets in the way, phone calls are interrupted and coffee dates are cancelled. But it needs to be one, because some day we’ll desperately need that arm around our shoulder or voice of reason 3 AM.
Friendship is. Not was, or will be. It is what it is right now.