This is the tale of Pat and Hannah – the very best of friends.
They hung out every day at school and always slept over on weekends.
Pat was as tall as Hannah was short, and they both had hair of brown.
Same classes, same sports, same church, same friends…their lives were tightly bound.
There came a point in their friendship, though, where tensions arose quite high.
It all began at Starbucks with talks about a guy.
“He’s bad news,” quipped Hannah, “And you’re so much better than that.”
“But he’s nice and funny and hot. And I like him,” stated a frustrated Pat.
“You told me your standards are higher, so why would you change them now?”
“Who are you to tell me who to date? It’s not something for you to allow!”
“I’m your friend,” said Hannah sweetly, “and I care about you a lot.
You deserve so much better. And ‘good enough’ is what you’ve got.”
With her temperature rising like a latte, her face turning shades of red,
Pat could feel the hair rising up on top of her tall, pony-tailed head.
“You’re always on my case, telling me what I’m doing wrong.
Your shorts are too short, your words are too mean, your Bible reading isn’t long.
I like my clothes, I like my guy, and my words are good enough I think
How would you like if I told you how much I think you stink?”
“If you have something to say, then say it,” said Hannah in an even tone.
Pat gave a laugh and a shake of her head, “Okay, well don’t start to groan.
You wear yoga pants that make guys think all kinds of lustful things.
You spend way too much money on iTunes, fast food, and earrings.
You may not gossip, but I often spy you listening in on it.
And the texts you send to guys at night aren’t always legit.”
Hannah’s eyes opened wide as she sat back, feeling like she’d been slapped.
Then she smiled, tears in her eyes, saying, “Thank you, Pat, for that.
Thank you for helping me to change and be a better girl.
Thank you for your honesty, and for rocking my little world.
I want to glorify God in everything I do.
But sometimes I slip up – and I need a friend like you.
Someone to remind me of who I want to be.
Of how I want to talk and my pledge toward modesty.
I need you in my life to steer me in the right way.
Even if I don’t always like what you have to say.”
Pat blinked once, then twice, then blinked three times more.
“Wait…I just laid into you. Hard. Aren’t you feeling sore?”
“It hurts, that’s true, and I don’t like that you see those things in me.
But how will I get better if I don’t listen to what you see?”
Pat took a breath as she took a sip of tea, narrowing her eyes.
What was up with Hannah? Where was her sense of pride?
What prideful Pat didn’t see and what she failed to grasp
Was humble Hannah’s teachable spirit, clay in the Father’s hands.
They left Starbucks that day, one high and one feeling kinda low.
Hannah hugged Pat once more before they had to go.
“Thank you, friend, for your honesty – and for not holding back.
I’m going to try and do better – you can count on that.”
Pat watched Hannah go, feeling lower by the minute.
How could Hannah be happy? She must not really get it.
Then she looked down at her shorts – pretty short, she had to say.
Maybe I should stop and change before I go on my way.
As I end this tale, my friends, my question is for you
If you were sitting at Starbucks with them, what would you do?
Would you be like Pat – bristling up at Hannah’s truthful honesty?
Or would you be like Hannah, sitting and humbly listening?
We’re none of us perfect and we mess up so very much of the time
But are you at those moments teachable? Or do you cling to selfish pride?
You can have friends who only say nice things, no matter what you say or do.
Or someone who sticks closer than a brother, always saying what is true.
Decide today what kind of friend that you would like to be
And make sure you have someone in your life who tells you what you need.