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Lenten Devotionals Wednesday March 15, 2023: Joy of Friendship

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up the other.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

When I recently moved to a new state and community, I knew I needed to be intentional about making new friends.  I’d left behind a relationship with a mother whose kids and career closely matched my own.  We’d meet for long walks with our dogs, circling our neighborhood to let out our frustrations, share our joys and news.  I miss this friend and our walks.

Finding and making friends grows more difficult as you get older.  Our school years are the best for making friends.  I have loved watching my kids find and make friends in school, witnessing them learn how to be good friends-sharing trust, kindness and common interests.  I smile listening to my daughter’s silly giggles from her bedroom as she talks to her friends on the phone.

In my new community, I invited an older, retired woman out for coffee.  I shared a ;love of books with this older woman and we made each other laugh-a good sign.  We talked for two hours about the books we’d read, our lives and our careers, while ignoring the cold, empty coffee cups before us.  Finally, when we decided it was time to part, she teared up.  She’d needed and been looking for a friend, as had I.  Her tears were tears of joy.

Friendships don’t require that people be in the same stage of life-that’s their beauty.  They only require the spark of connection, common interests, a mutual desire to grow in relationship and share joy.

Examine:  Recall a friendship you treasure.  Breathe.  Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.

Imagine:  Imagine yourself walking and talking with a treasured friend.  Notice the ease of your relationship.  Notice what you share, how you feel with the person, who you are together as you walk.  Embrace the joy this relationship offers.

Pray:  Free me for joy, O God, so I can live with gratitude.