The Hand That Reaches Out

I’ve had a bit of time on my hands lately.  I’ve probably had more time to think than should be allowed…for me, at least.  I’ve tried to use my recovery time at home for good and for not filling my mind with unnecessary things, so I’ve tried not to watch too much TV, but have opted to read instead…and yes, think…a lot!  I’ve had one thought shoved, in the best of ways, in my face everyday, and that is…I have amazing friends!  From early on I can remember placing high value on friendship.  It was honestly one thing in my very insecure heart I thought I did very well.  I could be a loyal friend.  Whether it was having been very taken with the notion of having a kindred spirit, thanks to Anne of Green Gables, or looking back at every turn in my life and seeing the faces of loyal, tried and true friends, I have a very high value on friendship.  One of my newest, and whom I know will be a lifelong friend, Vanessa,  just wrote a great post about friendship in fact, and how it is VERY worth it is to take the risk for friendship.  So dead on, because don’t we come to different junctures in life and find fear in starting a new relationship, or maybe we’ve allowed ourselves to not trust enough to let anyone in?  I err on the side of not trusting enough to let anyone in way too often.  I’ve been burnt.  I’ve been stabbed in the back, and I don’t know anyone that likes that!  Just when I go back to closing myself off again to friendship, God reminds me of what He showed me all those years ago as a child…I can have very real and healthy relationships.

This week, I have been overwhelmed by the hand of love extended to me – and my family – as I recover at home.  You see, I’m much more comfortable being in the position of giver rather than taker.  This week has shown me, however, that there’s really no difference which position you take when you take the position as a friend.  My friends have lived out what true friendship should look like for everyone.  They have not stood by idly waiting on me to tell them what I need. They’ve been proactive.  Sometimes a friend has to make you stop and say, “You know what? I do need you.”  I’m normally more comfortable being in the role of initiating conversation, contact and giving to my friends, but my friends have shown me that to have a friend, you must be a friend.  I guard a lot of my life as private…even from my friends, but God has shown me through proactive, hands on love this week, that they guard my life for me, too.  I love the picture of friendship you see on greeting cards of two best friends standing on the beach looking across the ocean because it’s always represented steadfastness and enduring friendship.  If I had to describe the picture I’ve experienced this week it would be one of a hand reaching down to pick another up…a life in action.  It would not be that of a friend sitting in a dark, lonely room wishing her friend would call, text or drop by.  It would be that of a room filled with life and light, a phone ringing off the hook, buzzing with texts and the aroma of meals prepared with lots of love.  What a reminder of the kind of friend I want to be.  I don’t want to be passive, always waiting on someone else to make the first move, but I desire to be the first to call, the first to hold a hand in a time of despair, the first to scream with joy over good news and the first to reach out my hand…because my friend simply needs me.  What kind of friend are you being?  Are you holding back a part of yourself from a new friendship? What can you do today to be a friend to someone?

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