Friend-ship... a ship, a vessel full of friends! A boatload of people who travel together. Friend can connote acquaintance, playmate, soulmate, romantic partner. In this social media era, friend has become a verb. On Facebook and other sites, one can friend, unfriend, or de-friend someone, but don't confuse de-friending with defending because they are opposites. Like bread, land, earth, and book, friend is one of the marvelous single-syllable words the English language received from German. Well, German, Dutch, Danish, English, all belong to the same linguistic family, but English also got a lot of vocabulary from other sources.
What else can I say about friends and friendships? Social media has made reconnecting with friends from the past relatively easy. Social media has made heartless, unfriendly, vicious behaviors relatively easy. As someone who'd spent her life surrounded by friends of every intensity ranging from ultra-casual to BFF (a common TLA (Three Letter Acronym) meaning Best Friends Forever), I never expected anything different.
And more? Friendship's always about at least one of the four types of love C.S. Lewis described. About a year ago our choir sang a lovely setting by Alfred Fedak of 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul's love passage. Verses 4 though the start of verse 8:
In love is patience always found,
for love kind hearts make common ground,
from love, conceit and pride take flight
and jealousy is banished.
Love keeps no score of what's gone wrong
nor sings a pessimistic song
nor lets regret or guilt prolong,
for love expects tomorrow.
paraphrase by John Bell. ©1988 Iona Community, Scotland
Even more? As someone who'd spent her life surrounded by friends, I never expected anything different. Love expects tomorrow. Friends and friendship expect tomorrow.