Who Will Give Up a Kidney For You? Celebrating Your True Friends

Margaret —  December 3, 2012 — 10 Comments


best friends

A dear friend of mine recently had the opportunity to be on a national television news show to promote his new book. The catch: the time slot assigned was Thanksgiving Day.

“What should I do?” he asked.

The opportunity offered prime time exposure and promised to sell thousands of books. The offer was a breakthrough for his career and the publisher who invested heavily in the release of his book. But recording the interview required him to travel to New York, and spend the day away from his extended family and friends who had flown in for the holiday.

Reflecting on the situation I was reminded of a conversation I had with my sweet friend, Betsy, earlier in the week. She shared the story of a friend (we’ll name Emma) who suddenly concluded that anyone who came into her life seemed far more fun and more awesome than her long-time friends. Over the course of several months, Emma decided to trade in all of her old friends who loved God and had been journeying with her for more than a decade for a new set of friends.

Betsy had a difficult conversation with Emma in which she explained, “It’s great that you’re making new friends and redefining yourself—and all these people you’re meeting sounds wildly fun and exciting. But don’t turn your back on your old friends. They’ve been with you through thick and thin for more than a decade! And if you needed a kidney, every one of them of would volunteer. But among your new friends, which of them would give up a kidney?”

“None,” Emma replied.

“Never let go of the people who will give up everything for you.”

Betsy’s question haunted me long after the conversation ended: Which of your friends will give up a kidney for you?

I began reflecting on faces and names. People who I have journeyed through life alongside—both far and near—and found myself once again awestruck by the wonder of friendship. God has designed us to live in vibrant, life-giving relationship with one another and each of our true friends—especially the long-time ones—are meant to be treasured and celebrated.

But sometimes in the midst of life and changes, we can lose sight of our true friends. Our vision gets blurry. We get distracted by newer, wilder, fresher, sillier, more fun, fill-in-the-blank relationships, and forget to nurture and uphold those irreplaceable friendships.

Every so often it’s healthy to ask: Which of your friends will give up a kidney for you?

And #LIVEWONDERSTRUCK by the names and faces flashing through your mind!

And so when my friend asked what he should do on Thanksgiving Day, I advised, “Spend the day with those who will give up everything for you! And see if the national television show will rebook. If not, you’ll still have what’s most important in life.”

How do you discern the friendships most important to you?

*Original photo found here


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10 responses to Who Will Give Up a Kidney For You? Celebrating Your True Friends

  1. Hi Margaret – I have one true best friend and if I needed a kidney, Mary would give it to me. If she needed one – I’d give her mine. We’ve been friends since second grade. She has been with me through thick and thin.

    But discerning friendships is another thing. I think to truly know who your friends are – life must be lived with them. Happy times, sad times, hurts and pains, forgiving and forgiveness – all part of #livingwonderstruck.

    Today, I’m glad to say that I have several friends who I #livewonderstruck with and will welcome those who want to journey along with me.

  2. Lorna,

    We must celebrate the Mary’s in our lives–they are gifts from God. Huge hug to you today.

  3. My friend, Matt, asked, “So what did your friend do?”

    The answer is that he spent Thanksgiving with those who would give up a kidney for him.

  4. Margaret–Thanks for the update. I’m glad he valued the relationships more than the opportunity. Did the show re-book him? That, of course, would be the ultimate outcome–keeping the right priorities while still getting to capitalize on the opportunity (although I realize that’s rarely how it works).

  5. Matt,
    Alas, that hasn’t happened of yet that I know of. That’s definitely the-happily-ever-after outcome.

  6. I slipped over to your sight and the title of this post caught my eye. I have a friend that offered his kidney to a friend that he shared community with in a small group. It is a long story and it was a long shot—but he was a match. Now a little girl has a mother who isn’t tied to a dialysis machine.

    I know you were writing about the deeper friendship issue—but sometimes someone does offer their kidney and gets to witness God orchestrating it all. Those who witnessed this incredible act of sacrifice were “wonderstruck.”

  7. Margaret,
    I would definitely give you one of my kidneys, without a doubt!

  8. I adore you, carol! And you can have one of mine, too :).

  9. This is both a hot-button in my life and a place of fervent prayer. Friendships — true ones — are rare and precious gifts. Yet we rarely treat them as such. In moments of such poignant choice, I hope I’d made the same one as Matt. But more often, we’re faced with the little decisions that communicate how much we value our loved ones on a more daily and ‘insignificant’ way. I want to be honoring of those gifts every day! Thanks for this!

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