When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.  – Henri Nouwen

How true this is!  Most of the time when I talk about a problem, I’m not seeking the solution to it, but I just need to talk about the problem.  I need to “get it out there” because the act of venting makes me feel better.

The most important lesson of friendship is also the most basic:  In order to have a friend, you must be a friend.  – Ruth Soukup

I’ve heard that if you have five true friends throughout your life, you are blessed indeed.  How many real friends do you have?  There are people who come into your life for a short while and claim to be friends.  There are people who you have a nodding acquaintance with for a lifetime, but can’t call friends.

A loyal friend is like a safe shelter, find one, and you have found a treasure.  – Sirach

God sends people into our lives at different stages for different reasons.  There will be some good memories made but unfortunately there could possibly be some hurt feelings as well.  Either way, God knows who we need in our life, when and for how long.  We have to trust Him to know what is best for us.

One night I called my longtime friend Lydia to escape from mountains of paperwork and errands.  She said, “Don’t you remember what you always used to say?  ‘When I die, I don’t want people standing around my grave saying, “Ohhh, she kept a perfect house.”  You wanted them to say, “Wow, she was a Woman of the World.”‘”  I didn’t remember that until my friend reminded me.  I was struck by how relationships connect us to a part of ourselves we’ve long forgotten.  They remind us who we really are, rather than the person that years of responsibilities have us thinking we should be.  – Mary C. Bounds

What a perfect description of a longtime friendship!  May we all have at least one such friend.  One who will remind us of what we truly think.  I’m so thankful to God for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I love friendship, don’t you?  😀