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Why would you call?

So, the phone rings and it is a friend or family member needing to talk or vent. Of all the contacts saved in her phone, she called me. Why?

I got to thinking about when I feel sad and am feeling drawn to watch a good, sappy Hallmark movie. You know the ones that lead to a soft blanket, dim lights, and a box of Kleenex. Or, how about when you have had a great day and you are now hanging with a friend that loves laughing as much as you do. You pull out the DVD of Grease 2 and you both wanna dance when Cool Rider starts playing.

Then, there are the times when you are just plum mad! I recall a time when I would get so infuriated with my husband that I would call a friend that I just knew would get as mad as me. I needed to be mad in that moment and I had grand intentions to still be mad when he got home. So, I called that friend.

Have I ever been that friend? Have I been the one who would fan the flames when a friend was venting? How about now that I give claim to having the Holy Spirit living in me? Well, I know the friend I used to flame-fan with is no longer a near and dear friend. We parted ways quite some time ago. Back to my point though. I get a call now, not from someone irate, but someone who just needs to talk their emotional (or spiritual) battle through. They need a listening ear. They need a kind word, but not necessarily someone to agree with them. At least, I know now when I call a friend, that is what I need. Someone to listen. Someone to tell me honestly if I am right or wrong. Someone to keep my feet on the straight-and-narrow.

Are you that friend who can be honest and assuring to someone who is struggling? Can they say goodbye with the inclusion of a "Thank you for listening" and "I feel better"? Or, have they quit calling?

If the phone isn't ringing, perhaps it is time to be that friend. The one who chooses to not fan-flames or join in on the shame-on-them game. Be the friend who says, "I'll be praying for this situation, but, let me go ahead and pray with you right now." Bring God to the phone and let Him have a few words with the one struggling. Sure. You can stay on the line, too. After all, He will be speaking through you in order to be heard on the other end.

A soft answer turns away wrath,

But a harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,

But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

Proverbs 15:1-2, NKJV

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