Life has this funny tendency to teach us these huge lessons when we least expect them, much less want them. Sometimes, these lessons suddenly come to our attention one day. They just kind of hit us all of a sudden in the middle of the day, causing us to stop and wonder for just a few moments. Others try to slowly reveal themselves over a long period of time and can be quite a painful blessing.
I have been made the victim of the latter type of lesson and this has made realize just how many people go through this life, from all walks, completely ignorant of the value of a real friend.
I am the product of public school. I was only homeschooled my senior year, spending the previous eleven years in a classroom setting. I have many stories, especially from the later years, that would raise the hair on the back of any neck. But out of all the things I was faced with on a daily basis, the one fact that still haunts me today was the devalue of friendship. I never had real friends in high school, or during any of my shcool years for that matter. But, ask any Catholic student in public school and you’ll find this is not uncommon. No one in public school anymore bothers to make friends, unless there is some profit in it for his or her self. This bothered me a great deal at the time, but I always consoled myself by thinking that this wouldn’t happen when I was at college or as an adult.
I was wrong. I have learned that, regardless of your where you are, there are always going to be people who don’t value friends. If they don’t get the personal profit, they let you know stingingly and move one, leaving you standing there wondering what just happened.
Friends are people that God puts in your life to get you to Heaven. These are people that God somehow sees us as deserving and are huge blessings. How selfless a task these people are only too happy with which to help. These people help us through our sorrows to see the blessings that will come and they laugh with us in our joy, which is a mere glimpse of that Heavenly happiness. These people pray for you, cry for you, laugh for you, and try for you. It’s not always a fun job, that of a friend. And the giving is not always 50/50. Sometimes, it’s 75/25, where you’re the one doing all the giving sometimes. But that friend for which you are trying so hard needs you. That’s why you’re giving so much. And next week may find him or her returning the favor.
Friendship is a vocation to which God calls us. As with every vocation, it isn’t always easy. However the benefits and the love which we recieve from this person are so rewarding. Watching that person slowly blossom and grow in thier spirituality while you grow in yours is an incredible thing. You are walking with this person closer to Him. God lets you have these people, who love and care about you, in your life so that you have a shoulder on which to cry and lean and a heart to give love and find support . And you must be willing to do the same for the other person.
People forget this. They forget how powerful friendship can be. Maybe that’s one blessing that I took away from public school — I know the value of people and more so the value of friends. People lose sight of this far too easily. And when someone whom you thought was a friend walks away, the pain never fully heals.
Even so, those who are true friends will be rewarded greatly in Heaven. They are fulfilling their vocation. I have many acquaintances, but very few real friends. That’s what I’ve learned over the past few weeks. But those real friends, and they know who they are, are such a blessing to me and I will be ever grateful for all the things they’ve done for me.
It is my hope that everyone who makes the pilgrimage through this life has a friend on which to lean. And I hope they never forget the value of Friends.