My dog died last Sunday. She was so loving and faithful to me. Everywhere I went she followed if she could. She would sit at my feet and bark if anyone knocked on the door – that is until her hearing got so bad she could no longer hear the knocks. Missy couldn’t bring me presents but she gave me presence. She had unconditional love.
I fear I’m not as faithful a friend as Missy when it comes to caring for my friends. I’m ashamed of how slow I am to respond in many situations. But there are other times when I’m true blue… An example happened just before I began writing this post when I got a friend request on Facebook from someone who was already my Facebook friend. Shortly after accepting the friend request I got a message from her through FB chat. I suspected it might not truly be her so I called her on the phone and my suspicions were correct. I notified Facebook and then sent messages to everyone who friended the impostor account sitting up late into the night as new friends were added to the impostor’s page. I might not have done it for any and every situation like that, but this friend is so dear to my heart and she and her friends could have easily been taken advantage of.
I’m not a Suzie Homemaker, so I’m not as likely to come running with food every time it is generally appropriate. But there are other situations such as the one I described above where I’m better able to be a friend. I tend to see a parallel with spiritual gifts. We are not given the same spiritual gifts but each has special God-given gifts. (See Romans 12). I can stand to improve, but I don’t see beating myself up for not measuring up to the expectations of all people as compared to the expectations of God, and I pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
How about you? What are some ways you offer friendship? Do some come more easily than others?
Again, I think of Missy. She couldn’t bring anything tangible into my life. She cost me money when you get right down to it, but she brought so much love and relaxation – something money can’t buy.
So again, I ponder… what is it that makes a good friend?
Time… availability… good will… smiles… encouragement… thoughtful gestures, no matter how big or small…
How many traits can you name in the comments below?