For the longest time (and I mean years, here) I have believed that I'm not very good at making or keeping friends. I have said to myself and others that I'm very good at meeting people, but not very good at making friends. One night, maybe a month ago, I was sitting with a woman (VH) I considered a friend just talking over some wine and a small dinner. At one point she said something about me about being one of her best friends. I didn't pay it much attention at the time, but it must have been sitting and fermenting for awhile in the back of my head. This past Sunday I got to spend some time again with VH, and I remembered what she had said. I got to thinking about it, and I realized that I was gravely mistaken. Somehow, in the last few years, while I had convinced myself that I didn't have any friends, I have accumulated several. Somehow, in the process of life, I realized that God has graced me with many friends, several of which I consider very dear to me. In addition to my best friends from Grad school, whom I still talk to, though not as often as I'd like, I can count 7 people (including 2 married couples) that I would consider best friends, and a bunch more that I consider friends. Also in the mix are some friends that, while we aren't as close as we once were, I none-the-less still consider my friends. There have also been some people who I thought were friends, but are no more.
In the past few years I have learned that the word Friend has many meanings. It turns out that I'm not too bad at making friends at all. In fact, I'd say I've become pretty good at making friends, and I'm doing better at figuring out if someone new I meet would make a good friend. I'm learning to let the relationships develop at their own pace, in their own way, and quite often, I am surprised at the kind of friends I have.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of friends. Thank you for the ones that teach me, and for the ones I teach. Thank you for the long-standing friends, thank you for the new friends. Help me to be as good a friend to others as others have been to me. Amen.