Praised be God, the giver of all good gifts…friends being way up there on the top of the list! It has taken me a lifetime to learn how to be a friend (and am still learning)- with my most faithful and patient teachers being none other than my dearest friends themselves. People often determine the strength and bondedness of a relationship in the currency of time- but friendships of plummetless depth can be forged in moments, while longstanding relationships may barely scratch beyond the surface of polite formality. Some people can pick up on a friendship after a long period of absense- and there is no ‘hiccup’ in the dialogue. The amazing thing about a true friendship is in its comfortable acceptance of another- individual or community- in a dance of giving and receiving, witnessing and being fully present and participating companions in the celebrations, sorrows, and journeys of life. My friend knows who I am- and seems to have an uncanny way of seeing into my hidden places. With my friend, I am comfortable with silence, and with words. I rejoice in the treasure of my friend’s wisdom, and am awed by the way God has brought us together. Friendships are the life giving elixer that sustains the joy of being- and for them, I will never stop giving thanks.