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3/14 - Friends

. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

"What are friends for, if not to help you up when you fall, to wipe your tears when you cry, to laugh with you when you rejoice, and to sing for you when you've lost your voice? Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow." -Swedish Proverb

Taken from Feb.2013 ILC Herald

 

For most of us it takes a lifetime to learn how to really be a friend. Certainly infants are only concerned with survival and are quite vocal when their needs aren’t met: just ask those new parents we have in our church family. Toddlers are very quick to grab the toys they think belong to them – almost every toy. Somewhere there begins a shift, mostly prompted by the parents, towards sharing. I believe the study I saw found that it wasn’t until children reached six or so that they actually looked out for others, even at their own expense. Until that age, when children were asked if they could get 6 extra coins but that meant that another child would get 4 extra, they would turn down the 6 extra just so the other child wouldn’t be rewarded. After six, (if that was the right age), the child would often forego anything extra and give it to another child because it felt right.

 

I have a niece who turned seven just after Christmas. She volunteered to her folks that, instead of presents for her birthday, she wanted to collect sheets and towels for a shelter. When questioned, she said, “it felt good.”

 

Watching out for others, that’s real friendship: helping when needed, keeping confidences, listening, sharing their joy and sharing their sorrow. This is something we don’t always get right but our friends forgive us. We keep working at it always wanting to be a better friend.

 

Lord God, help us to be true friends, to try harder when we miss the mark and to forgive others when it seems they have disappointed us. Remind us that we are all doing the best we can and only You will never let us down.

 

Submitted by Ken Cranson