I’d just taken out my journal following some time in The Word and prayer, when around the corner came little Chasey with his snuggly soft Teddy Bear in tow.
“Oh, good morning. What’s your bear’s name?”
“What a perfect name for a teddy bear.”
“His nose is fuzzy and his paws are soft.”
“Oh, they sure are. Good thing he doesn’t have sharp claws like some bears. He won’t hurt you with his paws when he’s playing. He’s a nice little friend.”
“Mom, his name is FRED!”
And then MY parent… my heavenly Dad (aka- GOD!) spoke quietly to me in regards to the bear called Friend:
In friendships it’s sometimes tempting to keep your claws, not using them, or course, but just to keep them… in case. But I want you to have soft paws. Soft paws that are quick to help & serve others; quick to comfort and love without hesitation. You are created to be a friend…. a friend with soft paws.
“But Lord, sometimes the other bears play rough & keep their claws sharp. What then?”
Most times those bears don’t mean to hurt you or anyone. But even if they intended to do so…still be a friend. Comforting. Encouraging. With soft paws.