I have called you friend

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Déjà vu… it happens all too often lately.  One simple statement from my kids and I am instantly whisked back to my own childhood. My daughter got off the bus with her usual cheery smile, but I sensed something was wrong.

“Who did you sit with at lunch today?”

Nobody.”

My heart dropped to the floor.  She said that the table where all the girls were at was full, and that she went to the empty table and no one sat with her.  As she spoke, I had to hold back tears as I remembered so many similar days at my school.

I must have been about my daughters age-there were 10 to a lunch table, and all the “popular girls” sat at the main table.  There were 12 girls in our class, and the 11th girl and I sat at the other table every day.  One day a girl from the “popular table” was not there and I made a bold choice- I decided to sit where I always did, because I didn’t want my friend to sit alone, and because,well- that’s just where I always sat.  So I got out my lunchbox… I can still remember where I sat, and how the light filtered through the cafeteria windows.  I watched in slow motion as my friend came through the cafeteria lunch line….and sat at the table of 10.  She chose them over me.  I was crushed.

I went home that day and remember thinking I could never go back to school.  Ever again.  I stayed home from school the following day. I said I was sick, and really I was!  Sick to my stomach because I felt like the only girl in the world without a friend.

And I tell my daughter this story and tell her that she will never, ever, find a truer friend than her sister.  As quickly as I tell her this, she interrupts me and says “No, mom!  JESUS is our best friend!”

Oh how right she is!

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:5

The next morning, as we waited for the bus, I told her to look for someone at lunch who needs a best friend- because she already has one- Jesus!  And there are so many people out there who don’t know this Friend of hers- and He wants to be their friend, too.  I tell her it is so simple- just love people and show them that you care about them.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

He is with us wherever we go, He will never leave or forsake us, and we are never alone.

Jesus is all the world to me:
  My life, my joy, my all.
He is my strength from day to day;
  Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go;
No other one can cheer me so.
When I am sad, He makes me glad;
  He’s my Friend.  

 by Will Thompson