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Written in the heart

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. (Ann Landers)

An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. 

(Proverbs 24:26 NLT)

As my kids were growing up, we faced all manner of "tragedy" where friends were concerned. One week the "best friend" would not have paid enough attention to the other - the next these "best friends" could be the best of buds. The pendulum swing of friendship almost drove me crazy during their teenage years! The message they heard from me was quite consistent and has not varied down through the years - if they are the type of friend you really want, you will work this out. 

Sometimes we get into a place where true friendships are tested - times when a sideways glance or a word spoken in haste can set in play a wide variety of emotions and unrest. At others, the simple smile or knowing look can tell you there is a connection deeper than words can ever explain. The value of a true friendship is really immeasurable - for it keeps you straight when you want to go astray and it reminds you how much you really need one another even when you don't always say it.

One of the most valuable treasures we can have is that of a true friend. They aren't afraid to speak wisdom into your life. They are there when you just cannot figure out what to do next. Their smile encourages your heart and their tears weight you down with a sadness so deep you are certain their grief is your own. There are times of laughter and equally times of quiet appreciation of just being together. There is no compulsion to speak, nor is there the censure placed upon the words you find necessary to speak at the times they most need to hear them.

The one who finds such a treasure has innumerable resources at the ready - for that friend will stick with you through thick and thin. There is strength found in their words of encouragement, hope in their words of trust, and freedom in their words of pointed advice. The time you spend together doesn't need to be "filled" with anything - for it is the time that "fills" each of you more than words can ever tell. It is as though you just "sense" each other's need and without even noticing, you have set about to meet that need.

We can look many places for wisdom and truth, but it is found first in the relationship we maintain with Jesus and second in the friendship we maintain with that one God has placed in our lives to help us maintain balance, center our focus, and yes, even to develop our patience or open our eyes to things we just don't see in ourselves. Their words may not be recorded in the pages of history for others to read, but their words and actions write a message of love and hope so deep within our hearts that it shall never be forgotten! Just sayin!

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