2016-10-25 - Parenthetical Friends
Most of us probably think of the word parenthetical as applying only in grammar class or while writing. But to me, there are parenthetical friends and non-parenthetical friends. As we all find out during challenging situations, or when there are differences of opinion, there are true friends - and then there are "fair weather friends" or people that even turn out to be just acquaintances.
Proverbs 18:24 (MSG) Friends come and friends go,
I don't know about you, but when I'm penning a personal note to a friend or family member, I sometimes use parentheses to further explain a thought, to "go deeper," as it were. As a hypothetical example, I might say:
During the last nine months of Richard's illness (which seemed to us more like several years) ….
A true parenthetical friend reads everything, including the parenthetical part, knowing that we wouldn't write it, if it weren't important. A parenthetical friend truly cares; when they ask how you are, they mean it.
There are, of course, many ways to demonstrate our true friendship. We should be those who "stick by like family-" those who keep writing or calling when you fall off everyone else's radar, those who focus on common ground rather than the few (albeit possibly important) differences, those for whom as we were taught, we should "stick by like family."
Of course, we can't be parenthetical friends to everyone, nor should we expect everyone to be that way for us. However, we should all consider ourselves blessed, if we have a handful of these friendships. We should treasure them, nurture them and enjoy them!
I hope that you will join me in always striving to be a parenthetical friend.
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.