Today I spent some time with my new friend Teri. She came over to bring us dinner and stayed to visit. It was nice to have the company. In fact, we had such a good time that I made her late to pick up her son from preschool! Tomorrow my friend Shari is coming over to keep me company-- though she has already warned me that she will NOT be bringing dinner! Shari has a passion for fashion-- not cooking! Anyone else out there bored and looking for a place to hang out and pass the time? I would welcome the company!
It has been so great to have friends who express their love in many different ways. Some call or send emails. One sent me an ecard. One showed up yesterday with half of Sam's in her car! (Thanks Luann!) Many have brought meals. Some have brought take-out, some frozen foods, and some have cooked elaborate dinners. What they bring isn't important-- it is a blessing all the same. One is taking on the HUGE task of coordinating meals. (Though I think she has regretted it since agreeing to do it!) Yesterday, my friend Luann knelt in our kitchen and prayed for my healing and strength for our family. My mom was even there to pray with us, which was a blessing. I saw the tears in her eyes and all I could think of is how happy that must make her as a mom to see her child being loved on and cared for by so many.
All of this has caused me to think about what real friendship is.
Proverbs 27:10 says, "Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father."
John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
The note in my Ryrie study Bible for this verse says, "When you are in trouble, you see who your friends are and how helpful a brother can be." I can say that this week I have seen that. I have felt the love of my friends and I know just how much I have needed their help. I could not do this alone. This has been a great lesson to me of what love in action looks like. These same people could talk all day long about what good Christians they are (not that they would)--but it is so much more impactful to see it lived out loud. In this busy day and age, it is hard to make time for friends. It is hard to take action when so many other things demand your attention. And yet, in reading these verses, I see words like "forsake" and "lay down your life" and "adversity." Friendship by God's design is about sacrifice. I have seen that a lot this week and I have learned through the examples of my friends.
And because I can't resist...