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A Mayberry Friendship
I love watching reruns of Andy Griffith shows. Every time I watch those shows, I long for a Mayberry kind of friendship. Andy and Barney seek the best and support the best in one another. They make their friendship a high priority. Their relationship offers encouragement, strength, and companionship. They enable the other to be a better person. How nice to have a friend who can take your worst bumbles and make them look well thought out, courageous, and admirable. Yep, that’s the type of friendship I want – an Andy and Barney friendship.
Both Andy and Barney are aware of their pal’s imperfections. Andy is aware of Barney’s false bravado. Barney wishes that Andy were a bit more progressive. Still, Andy admires Barney for being a loyal public servant. Barney admires Andy because Andy is, without effort, a humble and compassionate leader. Each sees in the other what is admirable, and that admiration overrides any perceived fault. Andy and Barney focus on what is right in each other.
Barney and Andy’s friendship is given high priority. Barney admits his wrongs, and immediately seeks reconciliation. Andy graciously eases Barney back into the friendship. Each respects the other person’s individuality. Barney and Andy listen thoughtfully to one another’s opinions, but each makes the final decision about how to live his own life. Barney and Andy protect each other’s reputation. Andy teases Barney when they are alone, but he never talks badly about Barney to others. Andy strengthens Barney by trusting Barney with responsibilities that help build Barney’s confidence and competence. Barney and Andy genuinely enjoy one another’s company. They are side by side at work, on dates, and on the front porch. Andy and Barney make their friendship a priority.
I can identify with both Barney and Andy. Some days I am Barney, bumbling along, trying to be brave and to look more competent than I am. I hope that I am even a tad bit worthy of the admiration and appreciation tossed my way. Other days, I resemble Andy. I am comfortable and content. I accept the problems the day presents, while feeling very grateful for a friend to support me. What could be better than an Andy and Barney friendship?
I learn from Andy and Barney that my ability to have an Andy and Barney friendship rests more on me than on the other person. Mayberry friendships are not based on being, or on knowing, the perfect person. True friendships can only develop when we learn to accept and appreciate the person beside me. Friendship is not about expecting, but about accepting. When I learn to be the friend that I would love to have, I can create a Mayberry friendship.
“He who would have friends, must show himself to be a friend. And, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Contributed by Carolyn Primm