December 25, 2009

What is a Friend?

Earlier this year I posted a story about how God had restored a very special friendship to me. I received this poem in the mail from my dear friend. It seems that at Christmastime, I am most thankful for my friends, and I have been blessed with many!!  

What is a friend? I will tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your soul can be naked with him.
He seems to ask of you to put on nothing,
Only to be what you are.

He does not want you to be better or worse.

When you are with him,
You feel as a prisoner feels
Who has been declared innocent.
You can say what you think,
So long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature
That lead others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely.
You can avow your little vanities,
And envies,
And hates,
And vicious sparks,
Your meanness
And absurdities
And, in opening them up to him,
They are lost, dissolved in the white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.
You do not need to be careful.
You can abuse him,
Neglect him,
Tolerate him.

Best of all, you can keep still with him.
It makes no matter, he likes you.
He is like fire that purges to the bone.

He understands, he understands!

You can weep with him,
Sing with him,
Laugh with him,
Pray with him.

Through it all—and underneath
He sees, he knows, and he loves you.

A friend? What is a friend?

Just one, I repeat,
With whom you dare to be yourself.


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