You fail a class, your car breaks down,

Your parents tell you after 23 years, they are getting a divorce.

Who do you call?

For some reason shedding tears over a cup of coffee with a really good friend makes the world seem a little less ominous.

This is a different friendship.

It is more than the “going to the movies”, “grabbing lunch” or “sitting next to them in class” kind of friend.

What does it take to commit to a “run a marathon”, “fast for 40 days”, “Help me change the world” kind of friendship?

Are we willing to be that friend for someone else???

Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, most people feel like they don’t have that kind of friend to call.

Who is the person that will sit and hold your hand in the hospital while you watch your loved one battle with cancer.

(Or maybe the battle is yours.)

The person who will stay up all night making care packages for the homeless or less fortunate with you, because she knows that’s what makes your heart tick.

The person who leads you down the right path, who gives you encouraging advice, or simply listens when you need to process?

I must confess, the greatest obstacle I have found to being that kind of friend, is needing that kind of friend.

Selfish desires push away other peoples needs to make room for seeking my own.

Wanting someone to listen to me, I didn’t hear what they were saying.

Needing someone to carry me through a rough time, I neglected to see what they were going through.

Expecting others to realize the obvious importance of the causes I supported, I failed to notice the ones that made their hearts cry.

Now I realize the solution is to BE the friend to someone else that you need in your life.

This is the most amazing way to develop, life-long, world-changing relationships.

Ironically, focusing on someone else’s needs may sometimes diminish the size of our problems.

Who can you be this kind of friend to today?

Who needs your listening ear, your support of her crazy project,

or the encouraging accountability partner to help her reach that (seemingly) insurmountable goal?

That is the person who will be there when you call.

The one you can laugh with about the time you only ate 7 types of food for a month, ran a half-marathon in the rain, or stayed up all night working on that crazy project for those that Jesus loves, but you will never see again.

And that bond, my friend will get you through, knowing that if you could get through all those things together, you could get through this too!

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson