Scores of lyrics and songs about the hidden power of a real friendship have been written and recorded through the years. At times in our society, the media represents true friendship as nonexistent or even a rare commodity. However, there are many of us who know firsthand that genuine friendship is a treasure to behold, loved, cherished, and admired.
“That’s What Friends Are For” was recorded first by Rod Stewart as a movie theme then again by Dionne Warwick in a relief effort for HIV/AIDS. The lyrics of this popular song reflect the need to stand by those suffering from debilitating diseases as part of a long-lasting friendship. The lyrics continue with “In good times and bad times I’ll be on your side forevermore” telling of deep emotion that a true friend feels when the other friend is suffering.
The lyrics of the song “Friends” by Whodini ask, “how many of us have them…ones you can depend on?” Have you ever asked yourself any of these same questions when friendships have gone astray leaving us hurt with unanswered questions? Some of us have been in a negative situation with someone we thought was a true friend only to have it downward spiral and never pick back up. These negative experiences taught us about ourselves and about others by getting our attention, bringing us in God’s presence, slowing us down, giving us time to reflect on our lives, and teaching us how to respond if we face a similar situation in the future.
True friends bear one another’s burdens, the friendships withstand the test of time, and each person knows that there is always someone in their corner. Some of us may feel or seem friendless because of circumstances we have faced such as tragedy, trauma, and stressful life events. It is during these times that the words of another song bring wistful and melancholy feelings. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” reminds us of a true friend who sticks closer than a brother and is incomparable to anyone else. The love Jesus has for us cannot be explained and neither can it be earned. It is just what it is.
No one seems to really know or understand why we love and have the friends we do or how the bonds are formed and last. Some say it just happens, others describe it as a connection, some say its destiny, and yet others say it is a blessing. Regardless of the origin of friendship, true friends endure hardships with us just as if they are the ones experiencing it themselves. A genuine friendship is a relationship that just like others cannot be broken but is still tested by disappointments, hurts, shifts, time, distance, heartaches, heartbreak, economic hardship, joy, pain, suffering, celebration, hope, recovery, perseverance, and still the list goes on. Real friends are like the family we never had but will always treasure.
Contributor – E. Taylor