“I get by with a little help from my friends”

-The Beatles

“My Friends”

I cannot say these two words without hearing a pleading 13 year child saying it with a high pitched, questioning intonation, fearing an upcoming separation.

‘My friends’
They are essential.

Our family pediatrician gives a moving coming-of-age talk to his patients at that ripe age of 13. He covers the basic vices- sex, drugs, alcohol, irresponsibilty, pride. But he starts by talking about friends.
Who you surround yourself with is telling; how to recognize a friend, and how to be a friend. “You are no better or no worse than any other,” he reminds budding teenagers who needed to be reminded. “We’re all equal in God’s eyes.”

Friends are our lifeblood.
Confidantes, fellow travelers, sharers of joy and laughter, and also of shouldering burdens.
Alone time is important, but so is being with friends.
The first thing Jesus did was to gather a group of ‘em.

Friends inspire. Friends show up. Friends tolerate.
Friends aren’t perfect, and they sure know we aren’t either- but they love us, and we them, anyway.

Real friends are the hands and feet of God’s goodness.
I am grateful for many- young, old, longtime, and passing through.
I am grateful for their support, particularly in these funky times.

“We are all just walking each other home,” said Ram Das.

I’m grateful for friends that help me find my way! By sharing their own gifts- of art, humor, creativity. A friend recently created the Native collage above: an inspiration on so many fronts.
Friends are generous; they persevere.

As we close in on the end of this reflective time of Lent, which is very much about being on our own spiritual journeys, I am taking time to reflect on the kindness of my friends.
In many ways, friends are the essence of our being. Be sure to thank them regularly.

Thank you (Thank you, thank you)

“The Guest House”
by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.