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Friend Ship

I know I have an overactive mind. We all know it.
My mom shook her head with tired almost- despair a couple of months ago when I was telling her something, "You think a lot." she dismissed me.
I need to come up with a new way to frame thoughts for my husband and hang them in his mind.  I think he'd take me more seriously.  But nope, my default is always , "Keith, I've been thinking." And his automatic response in thick Virginia slow words is, "There you go thinking again." He now says the same thing to my oldest daughter.
I have to smile and he reflects it back to me in the almost smile that twitches at his lips.

So the other day I was thinking about friendship and like I normally do I try to find words inside of words and think about the relationship.  Sort of like the ingredients of a word you know.  Now some words boast no hidden words.  You can go look up Webster's and find the meaning; however, there are words that are made of two or three words strung together.  When that is the case I like to pull them apart and think about them as parts of the whole word.  I know its weird.

The other day as I was sweeping the floor or washing dishes (the best place for over active brain is to submerge it with hot soapy dish water, it makes the time fly) I thought about the word friendship.  I was thinking about my friends and the gift that friendship is in our lives.  I have read the verses recently about our being God's dear friends.
Jesus speaking to his dear disciples bestows this title on all of who choose to follow Him and be loved by Him, "No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends..." (John 15:15, ASV).
This phrase friend is used loosely at best lots of places from all the people that we really are merely acquainted with but know the strange details of their lives on social media, to 'friends' we turn and avoid when we see out, or even back to play ground days when friends change as fast as a deep south thunderstorm - here one hour and out another.  Many times friends feel like people who cling to you when they need you, suck you dry, and leave you heavy.  Sometimes friends are the people we use and then abuse their love by forgetting about them when we do not need them. Sometimes it's the people that frequently throw out 'best friend forever' just because they need to feel like they are someone's best friend.  They need to feel included here, there, or somewhere.
It's true.  We are notorious for not being the best friends, not using the word correctly.
I think we miss the beauty of this word most of the time.  God doesn't.
Friend is a word written in the red of our Bible.  A word Jesus affectionately places on each of us that choose to walk this twisty trail of life with Him by our side, as our guide.  We are friends.  
I've long since been awed at the mentions of God's friends in the Bible.
Like Abraham.  He is mentioned to be God's friend.
In Second Chronicles 20:7 the people plead their case to God and throw in their ancestor Abraham naming Him to be God's "friend forever" or simply "Friend" depending on which version you read.
James confirms it thousands of years later by stating that friendship and faithfulness are intertwined, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and He was called the friend of God."  (James 2:23, ASV)
Lastly, I love this picture of God's  intimacy with man in Exodus 33:11, "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend."  (NIV).  

The Bible is ripe with descriptions of friendship and many of the new testament books open up with the phrase, Dear Friends.

Now back to my over-active brain and the word friendship.
I said the word and then automatically pulled out the word ship.  The sea faring vessel which has carried people from every walk of life and all nationalities to different places and back to old ones.
It's built board by board and plank by plank.  It is built with a plan, an ordered plan or it will sink.  It is built carefully, methodically, faithfully.  Not haphazardly and not too many at a time.
It weathers beautiful azure skies, tropical breezes might lilt through its soaring sails, but its a firm under my feet support when the storms are rocking me into seasick oblivion.  There are rails to lean on, places to hide from the storm surge, ropes to help, and anchors to drop down and stay awhile with.
True friends are like these ships.
Friendship is the vessel we voyage through life with.  Both our real in the flesh friends right beside of us and more importantly the God we entrust out life to.  When we receive God we automatically get the pass, our fare is paid and we step out onto the planks.  We may not have clue about sailing and thats okay.  We know He does.
Friendship is also the vehicle that we get though life with in the here and now.  We have to have a few.  We won't make it if we don't.  We just will give up and all be men overboard drowning in isolation somewhere out there.
Friendship takes work, inconvenience, planning, listening, love, patience, and a whole lot of faithfulness. Friendship also takes the heart of an adventurer.  Otherwise we give up and get out.  Friendship requires a big batch of creativity, to keep expressing itself in many ways over many days.  Don't every say you're not creative if you are a great friend.  It simply cannot be.
I want to be that safe ship for a few people God has gifted me to love to travel life with.
Happy sailing and I'm looking forward to stepping out at a better destination as we dock one day beside the Crystal Sea.
i don't think this galvanized boat would take us through too many storms, but this sister friendship has.  


  1. I love how you pulled the word ship out of friendship and used it so beautifully. Some friends are in it for life with us. Those are incredible relationships, the kind that can go years without seeing each other and pick up where left off. I have many of those from where I grew up and they are greatly missed. Friendship takes work and time, as you mentioned. Because of this, friends have been on my back burner for far too long. Thanks for this reminder to put some effort back into these precious relationships!

  2. Candace, its wonderful to have those forever life long friends. There are truly none quite like them when they've spanned the scope of all your life and all of the different phases, ups and downs, and battles you've together weathered. If God gives us a couple of these we are so blessed. And you are right friendship does take work, but sometimes it can be as simple as snail mail or swinging by their place with a pan of brownies or just committing to pray for them once a week on a specific day and letting them know you are thinking of them. Hope you get to have a girls' night out or in or lunch sometime soon!

  3. For whatever reason this post made me think of one of my favorite book characters Anne Shirley of Green Gables. Probably because, like you, she had an amazing way with words and was also an avid thinker. One of my favorite quotes of Anne's is, “A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.” I think everyone should be so blessed to have a "bosom friend." I think I'll go dig this book out of the attic now....☺

  4. Sarah, I'm glad i could somehow make you think of those classic books. You've inspired me to read them. Confession: i have never read that series. I've read lots of the classics, but somehow I've glaringly side stepped these. My best friend always loved them and recently i was reading someone else's references to Lucy Maud Montgomery and all the characters she created. I think my girls would enjoy these books, so before you had written this I had already intended to tap into them. Now i'll definitely have to. Thank you for the suggestion. Happy Reading! And thank you for your kind words.

  5. Definitely books worth reading over and over! I'm sure you and your girls will love them!


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