Words of Hope: Friends

My friend Luska and her daughters traveled to Spokane to spend Christmas with us. Luska is originally from London, and we met at Silver Lake after she attended camp in England. Mirroring much of my dad’s own story, she has survived poverty, the death of her mother at age twelve, the madness of her father, hardship, and suffering. She understands pain. She also values friendship and connection. She puts a high price on quality time together. I admire her resilience and loyalty, her no-nonsense determination and drive. She was with Dad during his last weeks of life. Her birthday meal in July was the last meal my dad ate at a restaurant.  

Her girls have been close friends with mine for their whole lives. I am thankful this meaningful friendship has now continued to the next generation. Friends heal us, they shape and move us, they challenge and strengthen us. Scripture says there is a friend that is closer than a brother. According to research friendships made in childhood are crucial to mental health. Friendship heals our loneliness.  

I wish Dad were here for a conversation about friendship. I want to talk with him about Jesus saying, “I now call you friends.” How did Dad think about friendship? How did he navigate when friends became distant or worse? What has he learned from having Jesus as his closest friend? 

Dad is not here but Shann is and so is Luska, my mom, my friend Helen, and all the other amazing friends in my life. I can ask these people about friendship and feel more loved and connected. Who are the friends in your life? What kind of friendships do you need right now? What would you ask a friend?  

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:14-15