What is a friend?

A friend is real. They don’t care what your thoughts are about them because they know that you are in it for the long haul. They don’t care that you call them a jerk because they know that you love them no matter what. They are real because they don’t talk to you on Facebook. They enjoy your face more than they enjoy the half-hearted patter of keys on a keyboard.

A friend is real because they rejoice. They do NOT rejoice in your success or your breakthroughs but instead rejoice in you. They shout your name from mountaintops just because it sounds awesome to them. They don’t care whether you are guilty of the worst transgression against them. They celebrate that you are you and that you are theirs.

A friend is real because they are always ready to grieve with you. They understand that your pain is their pain and that your loss is their loss. They grieve when you are lost and they grieve when you are distant. They grieve when your heart wants things that will only harm you. They grieve when you are lonely and when you are surrounded. They grieve when you are gone.

A friend is real because they are honest. They know when to tell you that what you have made sucks. They also know when to tell you that the piece of crap you made is awesome. And it really is awesome in their eyes! They tell you when you are lost. They tell you when you are blind. They tell you when you are selfish. They are honest because they want what is best for YOU and they don’t care what you think about it.

A friend is real because they love you. They love you in the way that is unconditional of your capabilities to reciprocate. They love you because they care about you as a person and not just what they can get out of you. They love you whether you are happy or sad, but more importantly, whether THEY are happy or sad. They love the qualities about you that are unredeemable. They love that you smell bad after basketball. They love that you can’t tell a good joke. They love to you are anti-social. They love that you HAVE to be the life of the party. They love YOU.

It’s starting to sound like my mom is my only friend… somebody help… or somebody say AMEN.

So ask yourself, “am I a friend to anyone?” And if the answer is no, don’t condemn yourself for your selfishness. Tell me HOW. How are you going to become a friend? How are you going to live in this ideal of “friend?” Who is it that you know needs you to be a friend? Go be that friend.

3 thoughts on “Friend

  1. That was really beautifully written, Mark, even though it was sad.

    I think you missed something though. Maybe you disagree, but I get to tell you anyways because that is what I do.

    We have to ask for friendship. It’s not something that just falls out of the sky and randomly into our lives. It’s difficult because we have to step back from the place that is comfortable and proud and invite people to love us. Otherwise, they can only really know what we project as identity, and that can’t be real. It might feel like it’s great and working sometimes, but ultimately it’s inauthentic. So yeah, I may have to work at being a good friend, but I think it might be harder to have real friends at all. Because when it’s real, being a good friend is like breathing. Just a thought.

    Love you. You should also return my phone calls every now and then. =)

    1. You’re smart. I didn’t mean for it to be sad. But you are right! (which is very hard for me to say). But friendship is something that we do have to ask for and constantly work on. You are much more profound than I and I really appreciate what you have to say.

      I’ll call you soon.

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