Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.
It’s hard not to sing the lyrics to this song (covered by Joe Cocker and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) that played over images of grainy photos at the start of “The Wonder Years” TV show. Don’t we all get by with a little help from our friends? In today’s reading from Proverbs we are reminded of the love in close friendships.
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).
My first and best friend in life was (and is) named Wendy. While our friendship has morphed from painting fingernails endlessly as middle school students to now calling to laugh at our crazy kiddos, we can always seem to pick up right where we left off, no matter the time or distance between us.
Unlike most obligations in our lives, friendship isn’t required. Our friends don’t have to connect with us for work. They’re not obligated through a family tie. They just like us–for whatever reason–crazy quirks and all. Although friendships may wax and wane through the years, some friendships stand the test of time and call us to re-connect again and again.
In a task-oriented culture, friendships might seem frivolous, but nothing is trivial to our God who can count the hairs on our heads. It’s interesting to me that it’s often the seemingly insignificant or trivial things that bring the most heart-felt smiles at a funeral.
He always had a roll of LifeSavers in his pocket. . .
She could eat a whole package of vanilla wafer cookies in one sitting. . .
Oh, he hated that one song, and every time it came on the radio. . .
Sometimes trivial becomes the most important.
C.S. Lewis writes eloquently about God’s gift of friendship in his work, The Four Loves:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself. . . Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
Thanks be to God, for friendship.