What do good friends do for one another?
One thing is that they care for their friend when their friend can’t seem to care for themselves. They comfort, with strength, not just dismiss the severity of the matter to the person concerned. All too often we deny another’s experience, but a good friend continues to affirm, to lead, to feed, and to bless by facing the felt reality of their friend.
This sort of goodness and mercy, of beauty and love, is incalculable for it continues connections and allows us to live together through dark days as well as bright.
At General Conference we constantly run into folks who are out for themselves first, last, and only. Here is a report from Dan Dick’s United Methodeviations blog on activities that shows the presence of an anti-Psalm 23 friendship:
This church is God’s and we are merely privileged to take part in it. Yet, we so readily claim “my” church as though we have an entitled and proprietary right to it (and others do not). I eavesdropped on a conversation where a woman was energetically explaining to her companion that a group (I don’t know who specifically she was referring to) was “out to destroy the church.” She went on to claim that “they” won’t listen to anyone and “we” have to make sure “they” don’t get their way… I am pretty sure this is not the best attitude with which to enter General Conference. Just a thought.