How Many Fingers Does it Take to Count Your Friends?
How many fingers would it take for you to count the friends in your life? Would it require one or two hands? What constitutes a friend? How many fingers and how much time does it take to know who really loves you, cares for you, thinks about you and smiles when they think about the way you do the things you do? Does a person have to loan or give you money to qualify as a friend? Do they have to be cooped-up under you, crowding your space, to be a true friend? How about the person who will stand up with you when you are in a crowded bar and things look like they are going downhill and you may have to fight your way out the door? Will a real friend tell you when you have had too much to drink, too much to eat, and are running your mouth too much to keep your cool? Will a real friend let you make a natural ass out of yourself, or will the real friend step in like the corner-man in a prize fight, throw in the towel and say my guy/woman can’t go any further?
When you start to count your true friends, how does it make you feel? Do you take them for granted, believing they will always be there for you, or do you thank the good Lord that someone in this world loves you without condition and requirements and just loves you for who you are?
I have a short list of friends. Some live-in Detroit. Others live in other parts of the country and the world, but one thing about friends is the same. When I think about them, I smile. I may not talk with them for a long time, but when we do talk, it is like we never parted, and I smile. I smile because I know if I needed them, they would be there. I smile because I know they think about me. I smile because of the memories. I smile because of the fun we shared. I smile because I know somewhere, maybe miles away, they are thinking about me and they are smiling. How do I know they smile? Because sometimes they tell me that they smile when they think about me. Because other people tell me little things that they have said about me, and it is all pleasant. How do I know they smile? Because in their own way they let me know. Who makes you smile? Who is it who thinks about you, the times you shared, conversations that spanned the moon, things you did together, hopes, dreams, gets a warm feeling, feels good and smiles because of you? These are the people I think about as friends. I do not need many fingers. I may not talk with them all the time, but the smile gives us away, because a friend loves always.
Proverbs 17: 17 A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity. 
Questions for Reflection:
- How many friends do you have?
- How do you define friendship and the qualities of a friend?
- How is Jesus like a good friend?
- How is Jesus better than a good friend?
Prayer: Lord, you are my friend! You stand with me when no one else will. You listen to my thoughts. You inform me, lead me and guide me. When I am lost, you direct me. When I am hungry you feed me. When I am fearful, you calm me. You have promised to stand by me, even until the end of time. You bless me. You protect me. You love me. You love me without condition. Lord, make me a better friend to you. Lord, make me a better friend to those I love here on earth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 17:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.