I was reading through Still Waters and this passage really stood out to me. I had read it before and merely skimmed over it but this time it seemed relevant and timely. Perhaps it is due to Compassion and reading about sponsors and their children being friends without ever meeting and thinking of what to write to my girls to encourage them.
There is as yet no culture, no method of progress known to men, that is so rich and complete as that which is ministered by a truly great friendship. No natural appetite, not artificial taste, no rivalry of competition, no contagion of social activity, calls out such a large, healthy, symmetrical working of a human nature as the constant, half-unconscious power of a friend's presence whom we thoroughly respect and love. In a true friendship there is emulation without its jealousy; there is imitation without its servility. When one friend teaches another by his present life, there is none of that divorce of truth from feeling, and of feeling from truth, which in so many of the world's teachings makes truth hard and feeling weak; but truth is taught, and feeling is inspired, by the same action of one nature on the other, and they keep each other true and warm.
Such a beautiful passage! It reminds me that true friendships are rare and should be cherished. So often friendship involves competition and rivalry and wanting to out do the other. True friends encourage each other to be better people and to live better lives, often without having to say a word. Having a friend with strong faith, and a love for people that they live out in their everyday life, is more inspiring to me that one grand speech or gesture. Living a good life with your eyes on Jesus shows true faith in action. It makes me want to try harder and to be better! A true friend doesn't stand on a mountain and cry victory. A true friend turns and offers a helping hard to those that need it!