Many people declare themselves loyal, but who can find someone who is [really] trustworthy? Proverbs 20:6 GODS Word Translation
In the summer of 1983, I was privileged to go to Taiwan for my first overseas mission trip. We helped teach English and built relationships to share the good news of Jesus. I have many lifelong lessons that I learned from that summer. One of the most meaningful was the relationship built with my translators, Grace and Moses. They chose their own english names.
The roofs were flat and Moses and I would take our matts outside at night to sleep on the roof. There was no air conditioning and it was much cooler to sleep outside. The sun still came up at 5:00 a.m. so there was not much opportunity to sleep late. During those nights, Moses and I shared deeply about life, family, our relationship with Jesus, girls, education, and our future. We worked together to beat a computerized chess game.
One night we looked at the moon and realized that it was something in common that we both shared. We made a commitment when we saw the moon, we would remember to pray for each other. Even now, when I see the moon, I remember Moses. I look forward to seeing the impact of those prayers when we get to heaven. Who do you think of when you see the moon?
May you be blessed with faithful and loyal friends who will be with you in the good and bad times. Good friends are like stew…the flavor melds together the longer it stays in the pot.
Ingredients of good friends
- Vulnerability and honesty over time. There is always a risk in sharing personal information with a person. They may not keep the information hidden. But you will never know, unless you take risk to trust them. If they gossip about you…that’s not the close friend of choice. Friends carry private information about each other.
- Giver and a taker. Friends listen to one another, that’s giving. Friends help one another, that’s taking. Good friendships will include both giving and taking. If you are doing most of the giving, that relationship is out of balance. If you are too proud to be on the receiving end of taking, that relationship is also out of balance. A rope can be used to tug and pull against one another, or you can use it together for useful purposes.
- Shared adventures. Friends have history of shared activities together that bring back laughter and tears. My son, Micah who was 10 at the time, Francis Kim a Korean college student, and I drove a 1963 Ford bread truck from San Francisco across the country to Alabama.That trip included a
flat tire, break down, dropping a muffler system, top speed of 50mph, 2400 miles in 5 days. Francis reflects back to that experience as helping him grow up into manhood, by learning perseverance to accomplish something hard to do.
- Being There. Friends show up when you need them. A close friend doesn’t even contemplate “if” you need them, only “when”. They will be there for the broken down car, for the wedding, for the new baby, for the sick child, for the accident, during death, when you have blown it. Friends will be there.
- Committed after the disappointment. You will fail each other at some point. Maybe you had an unreal expectations of one another. Maybe you feel betrayed. The strong glue of friendship expresses forgiveness and moves on to deeper commitment toward one another. Not every relationship makes it through this hurt. For those friendships that navigate overlooking each others frailties, a deep loving bond awaits.
A valued friend comes in all shapes and sizes. They may not fit into your social class, wealth status or even race. With this friend, you will have the privilege of looking into their eyes and seeing the soul of someone who accepts you just as you are. May you be blessed to have such a close friend. May you be the blessing to another who needs YOU!
Blessings Love y’all