If you have children, or if you have ever been a child, you know that friendships can be hard, and great friendships can be hard to find. Learning to share your favorite toys, taking turns, and saying that you are sorry is all part of the process. As we navigate our way through middle school, we learn more about being a good friend. What it feels like to have a friend stick up for you in a crowd, to hold you a spot at the lunch table, and to tell you when you have something stuck in your braces. Sometimes those first best friends are with you into adulthood, and sometimes our friends change as we grow and also change. We all seek to find that true friend who will be with us through thick and thin. She tells you when you can find a more flattering pair of jeans, help you find the courage to quit a job that you hate going to, and loves you enough to tell you when the boyfriend you are chasing after, is no good for you. How lucky we are if we have found a best friend.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle 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