The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. ~William Blake
Spending time on the couch this afternoon confiding in a dear friend about the woes and triumphs we face was time well spent. Wise beyond her years, my friend seems to always know what to say in a thoughtful and confident manner. She offers perspectives that are enlightening and encouraging, with empathetic words that affirm, restore, and uplift. Somehow, we get each other and always have been able to see the truth and value in the other. We pray and involve one another in our deepest of sorrows, most appalling revelations, and haunting moments of grief. Our rejoice is pure and exuberant for each other when happy times and blessed events are shared. Never do we take for granted the other, nor hold a grudge or make assumptions when long periods of absence by phone or visit are necessary. Although there is a great distance between us in calendar years, the gap is seamless. Over the years, we have grown in appreciation of and dedication to our friendship with one another and acknowledge that the companionship we’ve cultivated only continues to beautify with age. How utterly grateful I am to know a dear friend who accepts me as I am, and whom unceasingly blesses and nourishes me with her pure existence and genuine presence in my life.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen