Posts Tagged ‘True Friends’

Forgive the long post, but friendship is so important to a story that I am going to spend more time on it:

Friendship is a dull word in this day and age. I have 199 ‘friends’ on facebook. I have ‘friends’ at youth group, who I never talk to. I have ‘friends’ at school. I have ‘old friends’, whom I never see. Even with many of the people I consider my true friends, I do not have the kind of friendship that I will be talking about in this post. In sum, ‘friendship’ has become a distorted word, which really means acquaintance. Yet still, we all know that friends are important–especially the ‘best friend’, the person you confide in, laugh with, cry with, joke with, who will always have your back and would give their life for yours. Such a friend is hard to find. Sometimes we do not even know we have such a friend until our hardest moment. Then we discover that this someone will do anything for us and we realize that this person has been there for us all along.

Some authors do not realize just how important friends are. We get caught up in developing our main character and forget that the supporting cast is often more loved than the hero (explanation for that in another post). No one wants to read about just one person who battles with no hope and no one to stand beside him. And most readers realize that if they were in a book they would be the sidekick, not the hero. Everyone has moments when they are heros, but for the most part, people are the sidekick and they want to read about characters like themselves.

So you may be wondering what the definition of a true friend is. To write about friends do you simply need to put two characters in the same space and have them interact? No! Two good people may hate each and not work together. So what is friendship? There is no better example of (in my mind) than that of David and Jonathan in the Bible.

Jonathan’s father was King  Saul of Israel and he was next in line for the throne. David was just a Shepard boy called by God to be the new king of Israel. But even though David represented a threat to Jonathan, they were closer than brothers. They did not just enjoy spending time together, they sacrificed for each other and were there for each other in hard and easy moments. When King Saul tried to kill David, Jonathan sacrificed his future for his friend and helped him escape, enraging his father and giving up his own kingdom.

Was Jonathan a friend to David because they enjoyed each other’s company? Was Jonathan a friend to David because they were in the same space? Or was Jonathan a friend to David because he sacrificed for him and because he was faithful in David’s hardest moments?

A true friend is willing to do anything for you, even if you do not get along. [My sister’s husband and I are constantly bickering (in a fun way), but if I have the slightest trouble, he is there for me.] A true friend is willing to ‘take up a sword and fight’ or simply say a kind word on a hard night. A hero cannot be a hero without a friend to support him along the way. The friend says the word that keeps him going.  The friend helps set up the tent, find the food and tend the wounds. The friend takes the blow that would have killed the hero. The friend adds honor, courage, sacrifice and loyalty to the story. So even though it is the hero who gets the glory, the friend plays an equally important role. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Who were my true friends that fought beside me as I wrote, edited and published a book? My sister, Kate, and my mom, Judy, were the biggest help. I owe a lot to my whole family and friends, but Kate and Mom had the biggest impact. They encouraged me, supported me, worked beside me and on occasion gave me tough love. They have done the dirty labor and dealt with a sometimes crazy author. And they get almost no glory. My name is on the book, my name is behind the company, but without them, the book would not have happened.

Who are your true friends? It took me a long time to figure out that mine were living in the same house with me. Your life will be filled with ups and downs, struggles and victories, times when you are the hero and times when you are the sidekick. Do not forget to thank your supporting cast (or to be the supporting cast for someone else)!

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