Someone to relate to is critical, someone whose camaraderie confirms one’s values as if to say, “I can’t be all wrong, at least someone understands and hopefully feels the way I do about life.” There is consolation in that. Values are the deep-seated beliefs you hold at your very core, what you just assume to be right, no questions asked. Good friends don’t have to have the exact same interests but do need congruent values. Just by his dialogue, a friend unconsciously confirms to you, “someone really understands me.” That’s a best friend!
Everyone needs someone he/she can dream with, someone that won’t butt in before you can finish a sentence, delineating all the reasons a dream can’t come true. Some of my fondest memories were when as teenagers cruise along in the country at night in his car driving to no particular place. We were living in the now and dreaming of how our futures would even better. A friend allows that. That’s a best friend.
Everyone needs someone to help him/her affirm his/her own personal self-worth. We have a tendency to compare ourselves to others and elevate the other’s appearance, accomplishments or personalities to ours. We get enough negative feedback from others but even worse is the feedback we give ourselves. Both internally and externally I have negative comments fabricated about me. How wonderful it is to have at least on person proclaim, “You are a nice guy.” Bob didn’t have to say it aloud, he said it by his actions, “I like being with you just because you’re you.” Bob, having heard about my kidney problems, not just once but several times, offered to donate one of his healthy kidneys to rescue me. I was worth that much to him. That’s a best friend.
Each of us yearns to be around others for whom we can do something and knowing these recipients appreciate what we’ve done for them. As scripture says, “There is more happiness in giving than receiving. It’s true. Do something for a close friend and we know they appreciate the gesture. In a way this also affirms our self-worth. We say, usually subconsciously , “I’m not perfect but at least I can do good to those I love.” Friends are always gracious recipients of our offerings, however small they maybe.
This is what I just realized but didn’t comprehend before Bob’s passing. I know my God better because I know what a true friend is! I can connect the dots. I cherish my relationship with my best friend for all the reasons I just recounted and many more. But I know my Heavenly Father created humans to be that way. In some special people that image of God shines through. I know now what God’s feelings and concerns for me really are. He allowed me to have, as a friend, one of those special people. I just now called to mind 1 Corinthians chapter 13 of the Bible and realized that all the qualities of love manifest by our Heavenly Father are also the very qualities I saw in my best friend. The Father didn’t come down and personally explain what he was really like to me. What he did, I know now, is give me a book, the Bible, that reveals what he’s truly like, he then sent his Son, Jesus, to show us God in action and then…for anyone so fortunate, He allows him, like me, to have a best friend come into his life so he could experience the love of God in action personally. Thank God for best friends.
I lost a best friend. But I guess I shouldn’t dwell on the loss so much. I image I should focus on the good times we had. I repeat this maxim rather tentatively now and perhaps not with the conviction I’d like to be voicing it. I admit it’s hard for me at the moment. With God’s help it will get easier to accept. I affirm I will think of the joy, happiness and love my friend, Bob, brought to me. I’ll continue to be in debt to him for revealing God in his actions.
Bob’s passing is just a little bit easier to handle knowing that God is saying to me and others, “Be thankful I sent someone to help you know me better. Yes, Lord…Yes,Lord, I get it. Thank God for best friends!