Monday, May 10, 2010

KINDRED FRIENDSHIP


Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown

Back in the days before there were tiny cell phones in every pocket and purse, before Facebook, and when the Internet was in its adolescence, Neal and I had a unique network that came to our rescue during a most dire time of need – our friends.

William, our thirteen-year-old son, had suffered a subdural brain empyema that stemmed from a sinus infection and was flown to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. We lived in Northwest Arkansas, three and a half hours away. While driving to Little Rock, we didn’t know if William would be alive when we arrived there. Thankfully, he was, but the news wasn’t good. He would need extensive surgery and the doctor only gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. It was an out-of-body experience.

Because we had lived in the Little Rock for most of our lives, many close and dear friends lived nearby. Having been gone for twelve years, our contact with them had been rare, at best. However, the day of William’s surgery the waiting room was filled with our friends. I’ll never forget the power of their presence. Instinctively, they knew words were not necessary. Some just sat beside me and occasionally patted my hand. Others prayed quietly. They listened to me babble my incredulity that this could come from a sinus infection. In my swirling world of fear and emotional torment, my friends were an island of peace and strength.

Later that day and all the next day, friends from Northwest Arkansas came to check on us. As we stayed at the hospital, our friends brought practical gifts like phone cards, magazines, soft drinks and of all things, paper towels! I would never have thought how much we would need them, but the person who brought them had also experienced an extended stay in a hospital.

Why am I writing this? Because true friends are a treasure and they should be cherished.

The term friendship is a loosely coined word these days. We call people friends just a few minutes after meeting them, and that’s okay. There are all different levels of friends. Some are friends for a season, either they need us or we need them. After the season, we move on. Then there are our acquaintance friends. We may spend time together at work or in a mutual interest group, but outside of those boundaries a relationship doesn’t exist. Our kindred-spirit friends are the best. Time and distance do nothing to weaken our bonds. These relationships are forged by and for life.

I’ve heard many people say that they’ve no time for Facebook. Some call it “Wastebook” because they feel it is a waste of time. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is a wonderful tool to keep up with my friends, and reconnect with kindred friends of years ago.

This week, contact some of your kindred friends. Let them know how important they are to you and that you appreciate them. Let this be one of the “million little things” you do!





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