What does friendship mean to you? How do you define friendship? This week I was reminded by a young man of the importance of friendship and what that means.
I have known this young man for a number of years. He has attended church in the past, and was active in helping with ministry. Almost 2 years ago, he decided to quit attending church and no longer participated in ministry. There were many reasons this happened.
When he made this decision, most people from the church stopped any contact they may have had with him. He did make it clear that he was uninterested in attending church, etc., so that may have played into their decisions to not call him.
However, I felt that I needed to stay in touch with him, and I have. At first, he was apprehensive to talk with me, but I made it clear to him that I cared about him whether or not he attended church. So, since I’ve been back we have met a couple of times. He is busy with studies, and lives across town from me, so we don’t see each other often.
He called me this week and so we set a time to meet. He was very talkative, open about his life and his studies. Then he asked me a question, “why did everyone from the church stop calling me?”
Even though he made the decision to stop attending church, even though he made it clear he didn’t really want contact, he still wanted to know that someone cared.
What God reminded me was the importance of being there for people. All of us hurt from time to time. We need people in our lives that we can depend upon when times get rough.
During my chemo and radiation, I received a card almost every week from this one person. The card always lifted my spirits. I must say I got lots of cards from lots of people and they all gave me a boost! Thank you for those who sent cards!
I am thankful that the Lord has kept the door open for me to communicate with this young man. I pray that over time, he will see the situation in a different manner. Proverbs 18:24 says, “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” For now, I am content to be his friend, to listen when needed, to hopefully, be a voice of reason on his journey.