Submitted by Alison Scott
A week ago I found myself sitting outside on the deck of Applebee’s in Broad Ripple. It was a nice spring evening and surrounded by friends. As I looked around the table into the faces of some of the most beautiful people I know, joy filled my heart. We had all just shared in a moving worship service at Common Ground Christian Church earlier that evening and I have to say there is no greater bond between friends then Christ Himself.
To my left was my aunt Cindy. I believe everyone has told me at one point or another how beautiful my aunt is and she truly is – inside and out. She is witty, smart, shares from her heart, and can be a stereotypical blonde which makes me laugh. Cindy and I have a special bond because she is my mother’s sister. Some of you might know my mom died of cancer when I was 16 years old. We have shared many tears, laughter, and prayers throughout the years.
Sitting next to Cindy is one of my dearest friends, Lesley. We have known each other all of our lives, seriously. Our moms were friends and had us in the same church nursery then the same youth group as teens. Lesley and I have had so many shared experiences – sleep-overs, church camp, prom, summer jobs, youth sponsors, etc. God has continued to build our friendship over the years.
I’m sure all of you know my next friend at the table, Andrea Koehler. She and I have been in the same small group since I moved to Chapel Rock. Being in the same life stage – single, working women – we find and or make time to hang out as well as listen and encourage one another.
My friend Laura sat to the left of Andrea. Laura served in my children’s ministry at my last church and we were youth sponsors together. A much deeper bond we share is being motherless daughters. Laura’s mom also died of cancer, so she can understand my hurt and pain at times when no one else can.
Then my most recent friend, sitting to my right was Stephanie, who is a dear friend of Anne Wilson’s. Stephanie is your best friend in your first meeting. She clearly loves the Lord and has a heart for people.
That night at Applebee’s while we shared, laughed, and yes even cried, I was reminded of the virtue of friendship. My heart was full last Sunday because God has blessed me with an abundance of Christian friends. The table at Applebee’s was just a small hint of the friendships I’ve developed over the years and a promise of the friendships I will continue to have and will have in the days to come. Melanie Williams from rethink Group says…
“Who are your true friends? You know the one you trust with your closest secrets. The one who’ll tell you the truth, even if you don’t particularly want to hear it. The one you can call in the middle of the night. Do you have a friend like that? Sure, we’ve all got neighbors, acquaintances, teammates, associates, co-workers, and maybe even pals and cronies. But how many can you count as true friends…
…the mate who’s there for you when the going gets tough?
…the ally in your corner who has your best interests at heart?
…the companion who genuinely enjoys your company?
…the comrade who seriously is a BFF?”
Most of you probably already know or have figured out “friends come and friends go,” but do you know “a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24, The Message)? Do you know what a true friend is all about? There is no better friend (or model of a friend) than Jesus.
A true friend will love you no matter what.
A true friend will help you believe.
A true friend will make time for you.
A true friend will always be your friend.
So, who are your friends? And just as importantly, who are you being a friend to?