What Kind of Friend Are You? Faithful or Flaky? (Part 1 of 3)

“Depends on the minute, the hour, and the day…”  is how I’d answer.  Not such a swell response…Flaky comes to mind…

How  ‘bout you?  Would you say you’re a faithful friend (Think Winnie the Pooh), or a flaky one (Who could ignore Eeyore?)???

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Eyeores Tail

Indulge me in two amazing, inspirational stories of friendship.   We’re still following Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks-Living Life as a 21st Century Woman.   Next in line is the Friend Chick.  (For other super fun chicks we’ve learned about, click on…Just B U, Princess, Warrior, Champion…)

God Chicks

If we could jump into a sidewalk chalk picture, a la Mary Poppins, we’d take our first plunge into a busy street scene in New York City….many moons ago…

My Aunt June and Uncle Mac lived in Englewood, New Jersey, right across the George Washington Bridge from New York City.  Mac was a tax attorney on Wall Street.  June was an amazing mother to my cousin Russ as well as a Housewife, faithful churchgoer, fan of the theater, fan of the Opera, and life in general. She knew no strangers.

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My favorite story about their marriage, besides their mutual love of travel (They actually lived in Paris for several years!), was that many nights a week you could find them in their basement playing ping-pong!  Quite a sight to behold given Mac’s six-foot-six frame.

Realizing how much time they spent in the City, they decided to find an apartment where they could spend weekends to catch a Broadway show or attend dinner parties.  The apartment also came in handy for Mac to be able to work late.

The only place they differed in their cultural interests was the Opera.  June adored it.  Mac?  Not so much.

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June discovered an easy solution to this dilemma.  She began going to day-time performances of the Opera. It was at these events where she met an amazing woman.  Funny discovery, they shared the exact same last name:  another Mrs. McCandless!

One thing led to another and both Mrs. McCandless’ enjoyed lunches together, savored performances at the Metropolitan Opera House together, and delighted in Afternoon Tea together.  Quickly, a rich friendship blossomed.

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Opera seasons and the years flew by.  Their faithful friendship grew closer with each passing year.  Sadly, the elder Mrs. McCandless’ health began to deteriorate.  Upon her death, June and Mac were amazed to learn that Mrs. McCandless truly had no immediate family.  Her husband had passed away years before.  She left her entire estate to my Aunt June.

The elder Mrs. McCandless also had a New York apartment.  As June and Mac sifted thru’ her belongings, they kept some things and donated some things.  One lighting fixture was always a favorite of my Aunt’s.  It was a crystal chandelier.

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They had the chandelier moved to their home in New Jersey.  For some reason, they couldn’t get the fixture to operate consistently.  They had a lighting expert, whom I’ll call Joe, come and take it to be cleaned and thoroughly re-wired.

A few days later, Joe phoned June.  “Mrs. McCandless, you’d better come down here.  I want you to see something.”  Fearing he’d somehow damaged the chandelier, June jumped in her car, arriving in minutes.

“Mrs. McCandless, I’d like to show you something.  What you have, I believe, is priceless.  The crystal drops on this chandelier are signed.  This is Signature Waterford.”  Now, while my Aunt was normally the very calm, conservative, serene type, I suspect she was border-line heart attack at this announcement!  Can you fathom such a scenario?

Now please-oh-please do NOT hear me say, “Let’s make friends just so we can inherit a priceless treasure…”(Au contraire!!!),  but please DO hear me say: Pay attention to people with whom God crosses your path. God made us for relationship. He usually has a purpose in crossing your path with someone.

Always keep your heart open for friends….of ALL ages.  (You can revisit last week’s post about carrying the torch of friendship “Just Take One More Step”… regarding Champion Chicks.)  We learned via a relay illustration how we must not only pass the baton of faith to younger generations, but we must receive the baton of faith from older ones.

olympic torch relay runner

While I jokingly say, “Friends are cheaper than therapy,” for many of us, it’s the truth.  Angela Hunt said, “friends are the life preserver to one’s sanity.” 

The biggest requirement for a faithful friendship to grow is the GIFT OF TIME. 

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Our challenge in today’s culture is the demands it puts on our time.  Sadly the first thing to go, many days, is our time and effort spent with a friend.  Texting has now pre-empted email which has now pre-empted phone calls.  When was the last time you received a hand written note in the mail?

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Recently I was awakened late at night by a text message.  It was from a long-time friend who I’d not seen in months.  What she wrote, in one simple sentence, would NOT be something to text someone.

For starters, it was late and secondly, this was a supremely delicate subject which really required a face-to-face conversation or a phone call at the very least. Because she is a long-time friend and I know her character, I trust she didn’t mean any harm by it.

But… my friends, it’s fair to say this is where our culture is headed.  Bottom lineBe considerate in how you handle your friends. Don’t be flaky!

I love how the Message tackles this subject:  Ephesians 4:29 says, “Watch the way you talk.  Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth.  Say only what helps, EACH  WORD A GIFT.”

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The New International Version is also great: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Holly Wagner reminds us, “Friendships are not just for you, they are to help those around you. Friendships can be an avenue of hope.

Holly adds, “One way to build friendships is to show acceptance in spite of differences.”   She then expounds on the four personality types:  sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic and choleric.  (See chapter five in God Chicks.)

Carl Rogers gives us the perfect depiction of appreciating differences: “When I walk on the beach to watch the sunset, I do not call out, ‘A little more orange over to the right, please, or ‘Would you mind giving us less purple in the back?’ No, I enjoy the always-different sunsets as they are.  We’d do well to do the same with people we love.”

Sunset

May we all be purposeful in being faithful friends.  May we give grace and the Gospel, loving as Christ loved.

We will learn of another uncanny friendship involving two very different personality types AND two different generations next week.  Go hunt down some Kleenex, you’ll need it.

‘Til next time!

(This week’s post is dedicated to my sweet Aunt and Uncle, June and Mac McCandless, who are already with the Lord, perhaps dancing, reading, teaching, and of course, playing ping pong! Time spent with them was always educational, fun, and enlightening.  One of June’s many gifts was handwriting a beautiful letter.  After Mac passed away, June played the role of the Matriarch of our family beautifully.  Even at 90 years of age, she had a personal trainer!  Now THAT is some positive attitude!!!  She, too, was a Champion Chick as well as a Faithful Friend Chick. And for those of you wondering the whereabouts of this incredible chandelier, it is now happily hanging in my cousin Russ’ dining room.)

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7 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Friends, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

7 responses to “What Kind of Friend Are You? Faithful or Flaky? (Part 1 of 3)

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  5. Marilynn McCoy

    Hi Elizabeth . Who is that baby girl in the blue sweater? Too cute. M

    • Ha…that would be me lo these many years ago… I was scrambling to find a pic of us with them & that was the first. I was pregnant w/ John Jr in that pic! Since we moved, no clue as to where pics are. Sigh. You would have loved June. She was a total blast. She had your love of art. They actually moved to Lexington after Mac retired and Mother ( June’s sister) was in heaven having her in the same town. Happy Memorial Day!

      Sent from Elizabeth Hoagland, iPad

  6. I am definitely the guy holding the CLOCK where his head should be! Great post, Elizabeth, with lots to think about. And the photo of a younger you with your aunt is PRICELESS!