Friends on the Shelf

Pumpkin. I love it for months at a time, and then I forget about it. The cans sit on the shelf and I don’t even see them. Until fall comes around and I remember.

And that’s really OK. There are no rule about pumpkin consumption, and how often one should or should not eat it.

But friends are not like pumpkins. True friends let you hold their hearts in your hand. And hearts are fragile. Like that new born baby bird that I found under my window seal the other day.

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I held the bird in my hand, but I pictured my friend, the one whose struggle pains me, the one whose struggle scares me and causes me to stay away for fear of doing the wrong thing, or because I don’t know what to say at all. The one whose delicate heart is raw, and tired, and bleeding.

I held the bird in my hand, but I saw my friend’s heart. The one she trusted me with. The one she let me hold. The one whose tender beat I felt.

And for the very first time, I see. I see that my indifference can slow that very beat until it’s hardly there, or the wrongly applied pressure of silence can constrict the flow of blood and oxygen, rendering the heart so weak, or sick, exhausted. Unfit for the war that rages all around.

And disconnected hearts shrivel up until they lose their fight.

Never again.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

#398 A warm, fuzzy, soft sweatshirt

#397 Belgian chocolate that I found in my cupboard

#396 God telling me to tender to my friendships

#395 A strong hug from a friend

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding Joy, Simply Helping Him, Things I can’t say



  1. Love the analogy between holding the baby bird and holding your friend’s heart. Such a great word-picture for us to carry with us this week as we all know people who are in delicate places. Lord, help me not to be indifferent! Thanks, Barbara.


  2. Yes…just because we call people endearing terms like “pumpkin” doesn’t mean they should be treated like a can sitting on a shelf! Friends…true friends…are not a dime a dozen and should be treated like they are diamonds.


  3. This is so good. And I so understand the meaning behind it. It is sometimes hard to know how to be a friend to someone who is suffering, yet pulling away is the worst thing we can do. Bless you.


  4. Barbara,

    I always felt awkward and trivial about talking to friends when they’d experienced death. Until I experienced it. Then I knew that the smallest overtures, even if they weren’t phrased perfectly or theologically correct, demonstrated courage and caring. What a blessing. Now I better know how to comfort others with the comfort with which I was comforted. You sound like a wise friend 🙂


  5. Linking up after you at Thought Provoking Thursday – what a great post. Thanks for the reminder to treat our friends with care and love, not neglecting to give them support and encouragement, even when it may be difficult to do so.


  6. How hard it is to be there when words fail us. Yet, just presence alone can comfort a dear friend. Praying for you. Grace my friend grace. Thank you for sharing and linking up at Simply Helping Him.


  7. So eloquently put. True friends trust you enough to let you hold their hearts in your hands. I sometimes hold back when a friend is having a hard time and I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing but it’s important to just be there when they need you. 🙂

    I hope you’re having a great week my dear!
    Thank you so much for linking up to last week’s Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! I’m following you.

    If you have time, we’d love to have you come and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven’t already! We are hosting a great giveaway too which is a wonderful opportunity to give some extra exposure to you lovely blog. Come and link up, enter the giveaway and celebrate the coming weekend with us!


    Jean {What Jean Likes}


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