“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S.Lewis
Proverbs 27:9-11 (NKJV)
Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
My latest Bible study lesson in I Samuel, has been discussing the story of Saul, the first king of Israel, and the friendship between Jonathan his son, and David. It made me ponder all of the friendships I have, or have had, through the years. Some friendships only last for a moment in time…like when you joined that club you thought you would love then realized Bunko was not really your thing –– or the time when your plane flight was delayed a few hours, so you spent dinner commiserating with your seatmate about the horrors of flying. But some friendships can last a lifetime. They can be anyone from your grade school buddy, to your husband, to your sister, to even your mother-in-law. All of these relationships affect who we are, and hopefully it’s always for the better.
I pray we all have sweet friendship memories to keep us warm in our old age. I know I do. Not that I’m in old age, yet! I'm still making memories. There’s a saying that if you’re lucky enough to be at the beach…or fishing…or sailing…or golfing, your lucky enough. Well, I say if you’re lucky enough to have had a few good friendships in your lifetime that have allowed you the latitude to be yourself, than that makes you lucky enough. I can’t imagine life without the positive relationships I have had through the years, like the friendships of youth when imagination could flourish unabashed. Like the friends when we were ten who helped us slay dragons from a tree house limb, or sat with us at a garden party when the queen came for tea, or helped us eat five pounds of chocolate in one sitting. And even though those connections of childhood are important for growing, once we have, it’s the adult relationships when kicked into high gear that help us muddle through the trials and triumphs of life.
Now, I’m speaking here from a womanly prospective, being that we are emotional creatures, prone to cry, scream, or laugh at the drop of a hat. For the times when we get fired from a job, or we get divorced, or someone steals our identity, then those abiding friends leap into action like a superhero, and encourage us to move on to a better position, a happier more complete relationship, or they track down the jerk who used our precious name and smack the poop out of them…metaphorically speaking of course. These are the people who can hold back the tears, so you can rain down yours. These are the friends who in moments of idiocy don’t criticize until the moment passes, then offers sage advise right at the appropriate time. These are the friends who know your family’s secrets, but don’t hold them against you. They are the ones who make you feel beautiful on days when you feel like the elephant man or women. They are the ones who laugh at your silly jokes, eat the recipe you created, and swear it could win a blue ribbon at the fair, when in reality even the dog turns his nose up at it. They are the ones who tell you the truth, but also always see you through rose-colored glasses. They are the people when life fails to reach our expectations, as so often happens, they will swoop in and make us feel loved and appreciated and special. To all of my friends (husband, sisters, contemporaries, in-laws, old and new and in my case my dogs, too) I thank God for the memory of you!