Face-to-Face Friends: A Weekly Reflection

 By Patheos staff

Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share troubles? ~ Proverbs 17:17

Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers. ~ Proverbs 18:24

Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shall drink it with pleasure. ~ Sirach 9:10

An honest answer is the sign of true friendship. ~ Proverbs 24:26

Here’s a great song about Friendship from YouTube!

“I’ve got 653 friends on Facebook!” a “friend” recently bragged to me. And then came his gut-wrenching question: “How many friends do you have?”

Indeed . . . How many friends do I have?

In a world of social networking and the internet and a wildly frenetic pace of life, real friendships are rare. We delude ourselves into thinking that we’re just too busy, so instead, we spend hours on the internet, or “friending” people we haven’t seen or heard from since high school . . . and then, sleep deprived, we wander through our jobs and our relationships wondering why we feel so “disconnected.”

So I’m wondering: if I haven’t spoken to my new Facebook friend since I graduated from high school thirty years ago, why would I suddenly feel the need to reconnect with him now? What do we have in common today that we didn’t thirty years ago, and why would I suddenly want to start detailing the last thirty years of my life to him, when we couldn’t even manage to stay connected the week after we graduated?

Instead, today, I’m going to rediscover my real, “face-to-face” friends . . . in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health . . . those friends who make me laugh, and wipe away my tears when I cry . . . the friends who call me on my birthday, and send me silly jokes, and always have a cup of coffee waiting for me, and who listen to my stories over and over, all the while pretending they are hearing it for the first time.

“Face-to-face” friends love me as I am; they tell me the truth about my gifts and my weaknesses. “Face-to-face” friends are honest, and loving, and funny, and willing to listen, and to deal with difficulties, and can have difficult conversations without walking away.

“Face-to-face” friends are always there . . . and have been . . .

Some friends come into our lives for a little while, but others are there always, as faithful as the sun rising and setting.

Good friends are one of God’s greatest gifts to us; they remind us of God’s unconditional love and presence and fidelity.

Think of your friends today. Call one you haven’t spoken to recently. Thank them for the gift of their friendship.

Now pray . . .