Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. - 1 Corinthians 13:5-7
Have you ever had one of those friends whith whom you felt so comfortable you trusted with just about any confidence? You didn't feel like your 'dirty laundry' would soon be put out for all the world, but would be cherished as a part of you entrusted into the care of someone special. This person gloried in your successes, loved you through your failures, encouraged you to strive for more and greater things in your life, and endured through your temper tantrums and other emotional disasters. This friend who would stand by you and weather any storm, holding you by the shoulder, the hand, or even the head. And, when the storm is over, when the tears take a time out, when you can finally catch your breath and look out into the world again to see the birds sing, watch the sun rise and allow a bit of light into that darkness, you turn to your friend and thank him - only to be told "bah! You'd do the same for me."
Here comes the million dollar question: Could you be such a friend?
Here's a better question: Wouldn't it be great to try?
A reader recently told me that he didn't like my previous post because he was alone and didn't have anyone to hold, to love, to experience all those life affirming quotes - and it made him sad to realize all that he was missing. I told that person that he was only missing things he chose to miss - due to fear. That, in fact, I was like him and felt very alone at times, very withdrawn, very concerned that life was speeding by like cars on the highway and I was too afraid to put my thumb out. Maybe show a bit of ankle - whatever is needed, eh? Maybe, in the best of time, in the best of circumstances and with all due effort, some of us are destined to live life alone. That makes us bachelor's, not hermits living in exile. We have neighbors, at whatever point of miles that definition requires......and in the age of email and blogging (smile) distance is no object. I have a friend in Germany, and I live here in the U.S. - is he my neighbor?
Well, I have a lot going on today. Ironic as it may be, I need to mow my neighbor's lawn.....she lost her husband some time ago to a sudden flu developed pneumonia. Her son lives and works a long way from here, so I am her "adopted son". She's a sweet lady and worth every moment.
I find that I have a few bad habits that I need to purge, a few - ha! Yeah, a few. They are habits that helped me deal with my world and my view of myself in the world. They are comfortable, like an old pair of stinky shoes - and just like the shoes, need to be thrown out. But, all of you who have had such a pair of shoes know, easier said than done. My hope, my real hope, is that I will some day have the courage to be the friend I know I should be. Maybe when that day comes I will no longer be alone.....or better yet, maybe it won't matter if I am because I will no longer be lonely.