Sometimes the struggle to find the right words seems impossible. The moments when you aren’t sure what to say so it seems easier to simply stay quiet. To empathize with others in their pain, means to carry their burden and their heartache as if it were your own. To honor their anguish and find rest together in the wake brought forth in pain is the sincerest form of love and friendship to sustain.

When those around you are struggling (and by you, I’m talking to me) take the time. Take the time to stop over for the unplanned visit, take the time for coffee or a meal, take the time to simply sit with them in their pain.

Friendship is built often on the foundation of commonalities. It is shaped by the invested time and the laughter found within. That is the easy part. However, the real roots that run the deepest in the shade tree of lasting kinship are the roots tended with the irrigation of tears. We must meet in the darkness of the soil where the sun has yet to shine, where the work is often unseen and the pain found within is dirty. There are not quick fixes that grow lasting and life-long relationships.

To take root we must withstand the elements. As our hearts are easily beaten by the winds of this life’s storms, some that come unexpectedly and leave a trail of debris in their path, when friends are left feeling deflated and defeated by the battering of this life’s tumult, we must be there in spirit, in heart and with hands prepared to pick up the broken limbs of their tree and tend to their eroding soil. We must bring the sun to their weary soul and remind their roots of the strength they deeply-possess that they too will stand-tall again.

Friendship is not for the faint-of heart. In a world that is easily deceived by the things of beauty, of fun and instant gratification, we must remind ourselves that those things are fleeting. It is with intentional focus we must serve other’s in their greatest moments of need, and lift their limbs heavy with burden to find the healing and Hope that awaits just around their seasons corner.

My heart feels weary today. My head hurts and my soul aches for my friend in her moment of pain. But that is ok. Because from afar, just like I know that I weep when she weeps, I am also sure that we will one day celebrate and rejoice again together too. I know she will be sustained by those around her, upholding her limbs as the Son shines on her dirty and wounded, yet well- irrigated roots. What a blessing true friendship is in every season of life.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you

when you have forgotten the words.”