Not much can be said for the value of a good friend. A good friend is invaluable.
Through the years, I’ve been labeled a listener. I am the quiet type. Always slow to speak, I do my best to hear a man out - to know the man, his desires and aching in full, rather than just hear the man. It’s always been my thought that an ear that hears is much less desirable than a heart that listens and sympathizes. And so because I’ve noticed this, and it’s something I rather appreciate about myself, it’s also become an attribute I long for in a close friend.
I had a girlfriend once, and she was great. We got along quite well together. And like others that I was close to, she was a great listener. At one point I told her that she reminded me of my dead dog - which reflecting upon, really sounds kind of ridiculous. But the reason I told her this was because in my younger years, when I had no one to talk to - no one to understand me - I’d talk to my dog, because at the least I knew she’d ‘listen’. My girlfriend was, I told her, my Tosha. I’ve been fortunate enough to have numerous Toshas.
Having someone to listen to you - to really take in the breadth of your heart on something - is an indispensable blessing. Because when you begin to ramble on the topic of your messy life, no one should want to be interested. After all, they do have their own odds and ends to try and tie up - these bits and pieces that we all have trouble positioning in the proper place.
But that’s it, isn’t it?
It feels good to listen in on a friend’s life - junk included. It feels good to get weak with another leaky being. To know that you’re not the only one. We all know this, I think. It’s almost innate.
I thought I’d share this because I’m thankful - thankful for the way we’ve been made to sympathize with one another, to open up to one another; I’m thankful for the opportunity to laugh and cry and live and die with one another.
These days, I spend a lot of my time with my good friend Guillermo. He’s one of the many people who’ve stumbled into my life only to show me more of God’s unending goodness. I wanted to write this post because I’m thankful for Gui and several others who’ve set aside their time to be with me in my messy life. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to love them in return.
My friend Chase texts me every once in a while. He lives in Seattle. I live in Baton Rouge. We don’t see each other very much, as you’d guess. Chase always makes a point, in our conversations, to let me know that he’s with me. No matter the distance, with me.
Be with your friends. And be thankful for those with you.