“Remember, George, no man is a failure who has friends.”
The movie, It’s a Wonderful Life,with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, is one of our family favorites. In the years before DVDs or even VHS, my dad was the one who would search the TV listings for when it would be showing on TV. On Christmas Eve, after the presents were opened, we would almost always watch it together – those of us who could still keep our eyes open. To this day, my brother and all of us get teary when we watch the old black and white film. You can call us sappy, but we won’t care.
We know the truth of the message of that movie. Every Christmas, even our gift exchanges remind us that what is truly great is the gift of knowing each other. Every birthday is a thanksgiving day for the gift of the person to us.
True riches are in our relationships – with God and with each other.
As I celebrated a birthday this past week, I have been reminded of that treasure. Some generous friends set the table for a feast of laughter and memories in honor of the occasion. We savored moments that we have spent together over a delicious dinner. I walked away full from more than the food, filled up by the moments we re-lived together.
I am enriched by each person God has brought into my life- some for just one or two conversations that are life-changing, others for decades of friendship that are sustaining and life-giving.
And to my friends, I want to say …
You have helped me to know God.
You have helped me to grow.
You have helped me to love better.
You have helped me hang in there when the going was tough.
You have brought both truth and comfort.
You have helped me celebrate milestones and achievements.
You have brought laughter and joy.
You have brought understanding and insight.
You have brought practical help.
You have brought affirmation of gifts.
You have listened.
You have given me your time.
You have given me yourselves.
Thank you for your love and friendship; I am enriched in knowing you.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.“