Who are the ones who will exhort me, encourage me, comfort me;
Who will reprimand me, push me, and love me
into the best possible version of myself?
Who are the ones who will see me as I really am, and love me,
but love me too much to leave me as I am?
Who are the ones who love me too much to tell me what I want to hear,
Or to do what pleases me, when they know that these things are not what my soul needs to grow in health?
Who are the ones who will rebuke me to straighten my trembling knees, and to bear God’s discipline with courage,
even as in their hearts they cry tears of sympathy at my pain?
You see I am not looking for company, or even companions with whom I can have fun or while the time away in healthy ways. No. No. No.
I am looking for the ones who will help me be silent and not speak unnecessary words;
Who will guard my solitude as jealously as they guard theirs;
Who are wise, humble, merciful, and holy;
Who will fan my feeble love for God into a roaring fire;
and who will call forth the saint from the sinner.
I am looking for the ones who will stay if God asks them to stay;
and who will leave if God asks them to leave.
Such is the hope,
Such is my prayer,
To know the kind of friendship that saintly sinners shared,
and which help shape sinners into saints.
If you become such a one to me,
I shall be blessed to call you ‘FRIEND’.