Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dedicated to a friend

Last night, my best friend and I had a pretty good time out together. For the record, this wasn't the first time that we've enjoyed each other's company and it certainly won't be the last time. So, the evening itself wasn't that big of a deal. But, it wasn't until I dropped her off at home that I really took inventory on what the night really signified.

On my way home, I whispered a quick prayer to God. I said two simple words, "Thank you". With those two words, I was thanking God for my family, my health, my blessings, my salvation, the incredible seats we got at the Pistons game, being able to avoid getting pulled over by that cop on the side of the road, etc. But, I was also thanking God for blessing me with my friend.

You see, this friend is one of the types of people that we all need in our lives, but only a few of us actually have. Once we actually do gain a friend like this, I think it's important for us to recognize them as often as we can. A "thank you" here; a hug there; a blog entry every once in a while.

There are so many things about her that I can talk about. But I can sum it all up in a nutshell. She's the type of friend...

...who is a fighter. I really admire that she has enough courage to dream big and to fight for her dreams; even when the rest of the world is against her.

...who can find something to smile about, even on her worse days.

...who convicts me when I'm wrong; but does so in a way where it doesn't feel like conviction.

...who patiently deals with me and my incessant issues.

...who can make me laugh, get angry, and laugh again in the same breath.

...who can actually make me feel guilty for not serving on the Finance Ministry (inside joke).

...who can impart spiritual insight on me without ever cracking open her Bible.

...who can educate me as much a college professor.

...who can Instant Message me while talking to me on the phone.

...who -- even when I've dissed her thousands of times before (sometimes for other people) -- has never given on me.

...who reminds me of how great I am, even when I don't feel it.

...who tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

...who opens my eyes to the blind and misguided truths that I've created about my past relationships.

... who can take one of my small and simple accomplishments and turn it into a milestone.

...who has a heart as pure as gold and integrity as solid as oak.

Simply put: She's the type of friend who challenges me to become a better me.

I dare any of you out there to say that they've got a better friend than I have. You'll be disappointed to find out that you don't...

- ACL

24 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

Beautiful post, Andre. It touched me on so many levels.

I think that its terrific that you are able to identify how a person has helped to shape you and that you are able to express your love and appreciation for them while you have the chance.

I was really moved by this one!

joel said...

Is this friend of yours on loan? I can certainly use one like this right now!

saved_sinner said...

As the Bible teaches us "A true friend will stand by, even in times of trouble..." (Proverbs 17:17). You are very fortunate -- more like blessed -- to have realize one of life's best joys: having a true friend. I think that, just like Jesus, friends are one of God's most precious gifts to us. Never lose sight of that.

Diane said...

Andre,
You are truly blessed, and it's to your credit that you recognize it. To have friends, a man must show himself friendly. You must be a pretty good friend yourself, or she wouldn't hang with you like she does. :)

lorna said...

Well put, Lena. You really hit it on the head!

Andre, you seem like a great person, which explains why you have a great person in your life!

Andre said...

@ joanne: I'm humbled by your kind words. I think that true friendship can be a powerful thing. I have no problems sharing it with others.

@ joel: Speaking of "sharing"...

No. You can't have my friend. She's all mine...

@ saved_sinner: Thank you for the encouraging words.
I agree with you entirely.

@ Diane and lorna: Trust me when I say that I'm the fortunate one here. She's not doing herself any favors by hanging on to me. It's just that she's so wonderful that she does...in spite of how I can be. That's why I appreciate her!

joanne said...

You know, I reread your post today and it touched me even more now.

Most of the points you listed remind me of how Jesus operates. I know that I can't compare Jesus' love and actions with those of people, but it's striking how He shares in some of the same behaviors. I especailly love the 'friend who hasn't given up on me, even when I've dissed her' line. How many times do we "diss" Jesus and He still accepts us?

A post for the ages, my brother!

ellena said...

You took the words right out of my mouth, joanne.

I think that God moves through so many people and things...not just through church. Though (from the sounds of it) your friend is also a follower of Christ, God is working through her whether or not she even knows it.

On top of that, you helped me to realize the beauty of having friends. So often we get so used to the people in our lives that we take them for granted...not thinking that what's here today might be gone tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me of what it means to have a friend!

kc said...

I could be wrong, but it sounds like this girl is MORE than a friend.

"...but you say she's just a friend. But you say she's just a friend..."

joel said...

KC, I think you're on to something. That explains why he won't give her up!

The floodgates have opened on you, my man!

alex said...

I just ran across your blog. I took particular interest to this post because it sounded really heart felt. Some of your other works are just as intriguing.

I'm blessed to find your page.

BTW, I think you like this girl too...

Andre said...

@ joanne: I agree. There's something to be said about a person who stays in your corner, even if you don't always stay in theirs. To have that type of spirit takes a lot of growth in Christ. She's definitely a person after God's heart. I suspect that you are too!

@ ellena: I'm humbled by your testimony. Thank you for sharing it with me!

@ kc: I'll take "Haters who use Biz Markie references" for $200! That was some funny stuff, dawg!

@ joel: Look, man. You've gotta go find your own friend! Have you tried mailed-ordered companions?! :)

@ alex: Welcome to my head! Hope you enjoy your stay. And don't listen to these knuckleheads!

Thanks, guys, for your comments!

natasha said...

What's this? You're not cheating on me, are you?! :)

Seriously, loved your post. It almost melted my heart! You're such an amazing thinker, writer, blogger...etc. I'm your number one fan (not in the Annie Wilkes sort of way)!

karen said...

There is a quote that I always carry with me: "Many people will walk in and out of our lives, but only true friends will leave footprints in our hearts." To me, the best friend you will ever have is the one who will be there for you no matter what season you are experiencing. From the sounds of it, you have one!

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

just curious, how long have you two been friends? how long does it take to form that kind of relationship?

Andre said...

@ natasha: Dude, you know that I'd never cheat on you. You're my favorite cybernetic chick! :)

@ Karen: Hi! It's been a while. How have you been? Thanks for sharing that INCREDIBLE quote. It seriously left a deep impression on my heart.

Don't be a stranger!

@ anonymous: We've been friends since childhood (though, admittedly, we hated each other as kids. She thought I was arrogant. Imagine that!) I wish that I could tell you how long it takes to shape this kind of relationship, but I really can't. It's too difficult to quantify.

I can't explain it. I just know it's there...

Sorry if that wasn't the answer you were looking for.

Nasty Nashe said...

cool post.
loves it.
=)

*Hi from singapore

ryhnoman said...

What a powerful testimonial to the significance of friendship. I'm happy to hear that you are in such a great position. Not many people can experience the level of closeness that you seem to have with your friend.

We use the word "friendship" way too often; it's starting to become pretty watered down. But, you nailed it by identifying the things that a TRUE friend does.

kc said...

Bullseye! Great point rhyno. We DO use a lot of terms that get 'watered down'.

Dre, I'm glad you were amused with the Biz Markie joke. Trust me when I say it's better that you read it instead of hearing me sing it!

Day-um!

cynthia said...

I agree with the rest of the room. This was a truly touching post!

Thank you for sharing it!

cynthia said...

Before I forget, I also loved the picture. It reminds me of my little brother and me when we were kids. Where on earth did you find it? It's really beautiful!

saved_sinner said...

Careful Andre,

The last "good friend" that I had wound up being my wife! If you let your guard down, God will move in your life!

You've been warned, my friend.

rhynoman said...

Had to scare the poor guy, huh bro?

Andre said...

@ smitten: Thanx for your comments. You had a brotha blushing for a moment. I had a chance to sorta snoop around your blog. It's not bad! Not bad at all...

@ rhynoman: I agree that "friendship" (along with several other words) get used way too often...without meaning. If friends were a stock, it would plummet day after day.

@ kc: Don't be fooled by my only being 26. I can get down on old school in a second! That's how we do...

@ cynthia: Thanx for you kind words. I actually found this image on Google. Incidentally, I think that this IS a brother/sister photo. Our little secret...

@ saved_sinner: Thanx for the warning. I don't want God sneaking up on me and having the NERVE to give me a mate! :)

Thanks for blessing me.

@ rhyno (again!): Scared?! Surely, ye jest...