Knowing there is another human being you can trust completely. Realizing that someone else wants the best for you, too. Providing a gentle haven where the other can be relaxed and feel safe. Helping solve problems without taking over your friend's life Sharing the grief times along with the great times. Being together without needing to pretend. Forgiving pretenses when they do occur.
Cherishing together the joys and traumas of change and growth. Nourishing one another's dreams, hopes, and decisions along the path. Encouraging your friend to stretch as far as possible. Receiving feedback without questioning motive. Easing pain instead of fueling the fire of hurt. Loving another person in spite of differences and imperfections.
Extolling virtues rather than expanding on flaws. Accepting a friend's anger toward you, as yours is also sanctioned. Sending love even when you're not together or in agreement. Coming to your friend's aid an expecting nothing in return. Freeing each other from the manipulations that undo many relationships. Dancing through life together, not trudging along toward death. Soaring to new heights rather than plunging into murk and mire.
Finding time to be together despite the obstacles of everyday living. Wanting no more than to be with your friend at that moment. Understanding the occasional need for distance. Taking up right where you left off, even after several years. Knowing that your commitment to each other is always by choice. Giving freely when appropriate and taking graciously when needed.
Divining each other's thoughts and feelings easily and often. Saying "no" without having to explain why. Winning and losing do not matter to real friends. Friendships are not instantaneous, they are earned. Friendships withstand the storms and upheavals of time. Friendships surpass the trite boundaries of acquaintanceship. Friendships often develop with improbable people at unlikely times. Friends know the difference between image and substance. Friends bask in the glow of the other's triumphs. Friends will be there when you need them. Friends are one of God's greatest gifts.