I apologize in advance for the absurdity of this analogy.
After washing my face and brushing my teeth tonight, I commenced plucking stray hairs from my eyebrows. (Yes, I confess I pluck. . .not expansively, but, since my brows are quite dark, frequently.) Since we've been away from home and in a hotel the last 2 days (hotel light fixtures not being known for their brilliant luminosity), I had catching up to do. Bright light is a must for successful plucking. Those light baby hairs that are just starting may be innocuous and invisible now, but give them a day and they become full-fledged dark monsters. Natural light is really best, but it's hard to come by in our apartment.
As I mulled this dilemma, fighting a particularly tenacious little sprout, I thought how good friends are like good light, illuminating the out-of-place bits of our lives that need to be weeded out. They're honest and courageous enough to point out even the mostly-invisible-right-now flaws that will inevitable rear their ugly heads in the future if not discarded now. They help get problems out while they are small and mostly invisible, before they really take root and cause pain. And, when we both miss a stray eyesore, they eventually help us yank it out by the root, even if it bleeds a bit. Every now and then, they prompt a complete overhaul and reshaping, from tip to tip. Real friends--friends who know us frontwards and backwards and sidewards, too--keep us trim and groomed and nicely-shaped.
Yes, in the eyebrow of life, friends are the light by which we pluck.