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 | By Alison Blanchet

Who’s Your Best Friend?

Several years ago my husband and I were walking out of a local Catholic church on a Saturday afternoon when we were approached by a young man. He smiled widely and asked us, “Who’s your best friend?” We were
a little taken aback by this, since we had never met him before.

“Uh…” we both stammered. “Hold out your hand,” he continued. We hesitated a minute and then complied. The man dropped a small crucifix in each of our hands and said, “That’s Jesus. He’s my best friend.”

We would soon learn the name of this 19-year-old evangelist, Hunter, and that this had begun with his grandfather. Hunter explained that his grandfather was very devout, and he had memories from when he was a teenager of seeing his grandfather wake up at 4:30 a.m. to read the Bible. His grandfather had an experience in prayer, hearing God ask him to share a crucifix and his friendship with Jesus exactly how Hunter did when he encountered us.

After his grandfather’s first encounter, Hunter explained, he ordered crucifixes by the thousands and would share his friendship with Jesus with anyone he encountered.

“We’d be following a hostess to our table at a restaurant,” Hunter explained, “and granddaddy would be stopping at every table we passed to ask, ‘Who’s your best friend?’ and share a crucifix and his friendship with Jesus.”

Hunter describes this as impacting his own relationship with God. He said his grandfather didn’t always have the words to explain what he believed, but he was like Abraham — a father whose faithfulness affected the generations that followed.

Sharing faith with our children and grandchildren can feel overwhelming when we look at the temptations, inaccuracies and harmful habits the world holds. I often fall asleep worrying about the many ways my kids can be led astray, wondering if what they are learning from myself, my husband and their teachers will be enough to keep them close to God as they enter adulthood.

“Who’s your best friend?” Education and faith formation is important, but our encounter with Hunter reminds me that he didn’t approach us with a brochure, book or podcast pitch. Instead, Hunter shared the real friendship that his grandfather had with Christ.

I often think about what I want to share about the Catholic faith with my children. My mind goes to the biggest questions or challenges I think they’ll have in their young adult lives and what answers I can give them. Answers and explanations are important, but above all else, do my loved ones know that Christ is my most important relationship? 

Not all of us are comfortable sharing our friendship with Christ in the very transparent and outspoken way Hunter and his grandfather did. But, I believe that if we pray for opportunities they tend to present themselves. Asking how we can pray for someone, sharing why a song or Scripture has helped us in a difficult time or having a meaningful religious image or quote in our home or office that we feel comfortable talking about — all of this can open the door for us to share that our faith goes far beyond explanations. It offers us a real, personal and saving relationship with Christ.

There is so much we can share about our faith. But before we share facts — do our friends and family know that Jesus is our best friend?

Alison Blanchet lives in Panama City with her husband and three children. She works as a therapist for children and teens. Email her at