This is what friendship looks like.
After high school graduation, I planned to attend a university about 2000 miles away from my home in Idaho. Many of my friends chose to stay nearby for college and most lived at home so my move was out of the ordinary. I was planning to live in an apartment far from home with a roommate I hadn’t met.
For a graduation gift, one of my dearest high school friends bought this yellow storage container and filled it with things I would need in my apartment. Things I didn’t even know I would need. Instead of giving me the usual gifts the rest of us were exchanging, she thought through what would be most useful and meaningful to me.
I left for college on an airplane with two suitcases but I made sure my gift made its way to me. Interesting note about that: I dated a boy off and on in high school but we broke up the end of our senior year because I was going away for college. Well, we broke up for that reason – and the fact he “forgot” to break up with the other girl he was dating a town over when he started dating me. He ended up going to college 90 miles away from me in Texas so I forgave him for his “forgetfulness” – because he agreed to take my bike, stereo and storage bin in his truck when he drove to college.
Thirty-four years later, I still have the storage bin. Yes, I keep onions in it but it represents more than a place to store my root vegetables. It represents friendship. I had a friend who thought about my needs. Needs I didn’t even know I had.
Throughout my life, I have had many friends who have “been there” for me. And I have tried to reciprocate.
We all need friends who will sit with us when we are sad, let us vent when we are mad, encourage us when we are down, laugh with us when we are giddy and speak truth to us when we are mired in a fog of confusion.
You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Friends can take on many forms. They might be school friends, neighbors, sisters, a spouse or even a parent. Some friends are in our life for a time and some for a lifetime.
Two weeks a friend came to my rescue. She sat aside her plans and joined me in mine. We played, worked and laughed along the way. We met up with another dear high school friend of mine and laughed even more. My friendship tank filled up.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is
as sweet as a perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9
Jesus had friends. They walked with Him, supported Him, dined with Him and loved Him. Jesus’ friends even frustrated him. And I’m sure Jesus frustrated his friends. And one friend, Judas, betrayed Him.
Solomon told us friendships are important. “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.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
I am thankful for my friends and I always want to strive to be a good friend. I miss the mark many times but want to keep striving to create long, meaningful friendships. I don’t want to “fall alone” – or let my friends fall alone.
How about you? Do you have something that reminds you of friendship?
Foot note. During the writing process of this blog I asked my storage-bin-giving-friend to take the Enneagram test because I was wondering if she was a 4. She’s a 7. That explains some of our high school antics! If you don’t know what The Enneagram is, Google it. Then study it.
Also, if you have one of these bins at your house, eBay says they are valuable.