Monday, February 03, 2014

Friends Around Your Table

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." - C. S. Lewis

As I sit writing this morning, there is a cool breeze through the open window. The sounds of the gathering day echo from the street below. It is my last morning in Curitiba, Brazil and those sounds are different but also quite familiar to the ear. While the language is Portuguese, the ebb and flow is very comforting.

A laborer power washing a building wall.

A woman shuffling her children into the car.

A plane in the distance approaching to land at the local airport.

The other is the sound of our families former neighbors and good friends Annie and Dave Spell. It is here to Brazil that they moved over a year ago. It is here that they now call home in Curitiba. It is amusing to me that I have flown 4691 miles in order to see my neighbors.

Yet friendship has that ability, to cross thousands of miles in separation or to simply cross the street. Friendship is a powerful part of our lives as humans.

In an article by Tarra Conte, she outlines five important values of having friendship with others.

Concern: a matter that engages a person's attention, interest, or care, or that affects a person's welfare or happiness.

Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Honesty: truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. You may have heard that this is the best policy, even if the truth hurts.

Understanding: a state of cooperative or mutually tolerant relations between people. The word "tolerant" in this definition made me laugh.

Support: to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction.

For my wife and I, friends matter. And whether they be friends found around the kitchen table, neighbors living around the corner from you or living thousands of miles away in Brazil; our connection to others is what makes living life great.

I hope the same for each of you. That life presents you with a large basket full of friends, near and far. For you not only have friends, but you are also a friend to them.

Stay friendly my friends!

SIDE NOTE: Our friends Dave and Annie Spell are doing great missions work in Brazil, working with Ps Ronald Berg and the C3 Church Curitiba. If you wish to support their efforts, a small (or large) donation is greatly appreciated. For those in the United States, your gift is tax deductible.

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