Today’s picture is so fun because it shows the importance of friends. We’ve talked a lot over the course of this journey about community and the importance of other people in our lives. In fact, we were created by God for relationship… relationship with people but also relationship with the God of the universe. I love this picture because it highlights friendships, those people we know and more importantly know us. I realize these are just kids, but in many ways they exemplify what I’m talking about the best. You can just sense in this picture that none of the boys are worrying about what the other can and can’t accomplish… none of them have important titles or make any money… they’re just friends. I feel like you can see in Justus’ face this desire to be with his friends. I know Justus wants to be with his family, but hanging out with his friends just adds another layer of incentive for him to continue to work at recovery.
There are two proverbs I think of when I think of friendships and their importance.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ~ Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Proverbs 27:5-6 ~ Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
I could write a book about these two passages from the bible… don’t worry, I won’t. But I’ll just say this, investing in the relationships in our lives is worth it. Even on this #TeamJustus journey, the friends that “helped us up” were lifesavers. I do pity the man that goes through a storm and has no one to help him up. But that requires investment on the front end.
Oh and how I hate the way God uses friends in my life and oh how I love the way God uses friends in my life! I hate the way friends know me and call me out on those areas of my life that need smoothing out. I hate it so much that over the years I’ve often gotten defensive and mad and even struck back… “Oh yeah! Well I saw you do the same thing last week!”
And I love how even this thick skull eventually realized those hard to hear rebukes from someone that loved me were far more trustworthy than the flattering words I was hearing from strangers. I’m so glad Justus has friends and I know his parents are going to raise him to develop strong friendships with other people who hold some of the same values in life.
Right now, his friendships provide a welcomed break from the routine of physical therapists and occupational therapists and speech therapists! He and his friends got to play BINGO, because Wednesdays at Randall are Bingo Nights! Our little ninja continues to work hard and show improvement. He’s making great strides in using his mouth for tasting and has paid a lot of positive attention to his mouth. Finding a form of communication is what the speech folks have been working on most. So we would ask for your prayers for those areas of his rehab.
They are starting the conversation for when his time at Randall might come to an end. To even think that’s a possibility brings a little mist to my eyes. So much to be grateful for! The moon was round when taking our little warrior home was a pipe dream and the moon is certainly round now that we’re praying about how well he can move his mouth. Tonight, won’t you say a prayer for a friend of yours? Thank God for bringing people into your life that you can invest in and that are willing to invest in you. If you don’t have those people, then pray that God would open some doors for you. But then, you be the type of friend worth investing in. Remember, they are the people who will help pick you up in a storm and they are the voices you can trust. #TeamJustus, though we haven’t been close friends with most of you… thank-you for being a different kind of friend and thank-you for being there to help pick us up! I hope we can one day return the favor. After all, that’s what friends do!