Sunday was National Friendship Day, a day to say a special word of thanks to those who have given us the gift of their friendship.

We never know how friendships will develop, because friendships can cross all boundaries — religion, culture, age, income level and education. Sometimes even social status doesn’t matter.

A couple years ago a call that was more business than anything else somehow blossomed into one of my most treasured friendships. Twenty some years ago a customer walked into our office and I was anxious for him to leave, because he smelled so strongly of stale cigarette smoke. Later I found out that he never smoked, but had come from a meeting in a smoke-filled room, an experience I had more than once. Just a few months later he had become my best friend, and still is my best friend.

Everyone needs a friend. Having more than one friend is an even greater blessing. All we have to do is walk down Main Street or through the aisles of a busy store to see how sad so many people appear to be. They look like they really need a friend.

Sometimes a situation comes into our life that is made more bearable by the friendships we share. True friends can offer prayers, encouragement, comfort, hope and all those other good things that give us strength to get through the trial.

Thousands, if not millions, of words have been written about friendship since the beginning of time. Many of the thoughts are found on greeting cards and posters. Some of my favorites are:

  • A real friend is one is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. ~ Walter Winchell
  • True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable. ~ David Tyson
  • A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are. ~ Unknown
  • A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ~ Arnold H. Glasgow
  • If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you. ~ Winnie the Pooh
  • Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant. ~ Socrates
  • Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. ~ Ed Cunningham
  • A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked. ~ Bernard Meltzer

My favorite is this: I have called you friends (John 15:15). Later Jesus promised those friends, the ones who believed (and still believe) in him that he would never leave them or forsake them. That is real friendship.

If you missed letting one of your friends know how much you care on Friendship Day, now is as good a time as any to make that call or text, send a card, or even drop in for a visit, because true friendship isn’t just for one day, it is for always.

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Thought for the week — All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12).

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