Today I am contemplating foul weather friends. As might be assumed, foul weather friends are the opposite of fair weather friends. Fair weather friends are those who love to be around you when all is going well, when everything is fun and good times. Fair weather friends slink away, run away or hide when life hands you things difficult to bear.
Foul weather friends are the ones who are there for you when things go wrong; relationships sour; the refrigerator is empty. But, are the foul weather friends here for me in the good times? Do they know how to enjoy life with me, or only how to help? Do I know how to accept their friendship in good times or only how to use my need as a magnet for their attention?
I have a few of these foul weather friends. I know I can go to them when I am desperate and they will shelter me with a shoulder to cry on, they will offer lunch, a listening ear or even a room until I get back on my feet emotionally or financially. They seem to have it all together and they never seem to need me to reciprocate.
But I treat them the same way I treat God. I can’t thank them enough. In fact, it is a little embarrassing how much they have helped me over the years. I am ashamed I had to ask for help. I don’t want to be a bother, so I try and give them a reprieve from my presence when times are good. I try to stand on my own two feet until I slip up or something goes wrong again.
What I really want are all-weather friends with a life-time warranty. Is there such a thing?Do I have the resources to afford them? Am I balanced enough to both give and receive? Do I even know how to be free of every feeling of obligation and debt except the debt of love?