Friendship with my first BFF lasted a year. We were eleven years old when, like a scalpel, her words sliced through our bond and severed our friendship. She turned to me and said, “I can’t be your friend anymore. I’m friends with Mary now.”
Just like that. In the middle of an elementary school hallway, walking to class. She peeled off and weaved through the crowd, hailing Mary to wait up. As other fifth and sixth graders jostled past me, I strained to grasp what just happened. My friend set me adrift.
Until a few months later. In that same hallway. Another girl, Sherry, reached out to me. She sat by me at lunch where we laughed at each other’s jokes. Together, we moaned about PE and giggled over our boyfriend crushes. We shared dreams about the future and the nightmare of embarrassing moments bound to happen while stuck somewhere between childhood innocence and womanhood.
When my family moved three states away during the summer before my 14th birthday, Sherry threw me a surprise farewell party. We corresponded through high school, but eventually lost contact during college as life took us down different roads. Nevertheless, for that crucial season when I needed to belong, Sherry shaped my picture of friendship.
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.
Today, the first Sunday in August, is Friendship Day. So, I celebrate all the friends who walked into my life. New ones still forming who greet me with a hug. Seasoned ones, who listen while I talk through my joys and tears. Friends like the one who knitted me a frilly boa just because she imagined me wearing one while I wrote my blogs. Or the friend who lives across the country and still handwrites letters despite the pain of arthritis. Letters that always close with, “I treasure our friendship.”
I celebrate these precious gifts. Who do you celebrate today?
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–1, NLT)
©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.