A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
What would life be without friendship? I don’t even want to think about that because true friendship endures time and distance. What does it take to have friends? The writer of Proverbs says we must be friendly, but how can we be friendly with one another when we don’t spend time with our friends? Friendship is much more than being friendly, it is being available to encourage and lift each other up. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 the New Living Translation states, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble”.
I am fortunate enough to have several people that I count as friends, but only a few are friends that “sticketh closer than a brother.” I have friends that helped pick me up in times of troubles and were just a phone call away. There isn’t enough space in this column to write about times that my friends came to my aid when I needed help.
Friends are there to share in the joys of life as well. I am so blessed to have the honor to share the joy of friends through birthdays, weddings, birth of children, new homes, and so many other cherished events.
Years ago people spent time more time visiting with their friends. Now, unfortunately we are so busy with our lives that we fail to take the time to spend with one another. Lately most of my visiting was done as I ran into friends at the grocery store, at church, or over the phone. A couple of weeks ago I ran into one friend I haven’t seen in months. We hugged and caught up on each other’s lives as we stood in the produce isle.
A week later, some our oldest and dearest friends stopped by. When they lived in Tucumcari years ago we were practically inseparable. We spent time at each other’s homes and even took several trips together.
As they stepped inside our home it was if time had stood still for our friendship. We spent the next several hours catching up on everything since we saw each other last.
I have other friends who moved away from Tucumcari, but they are still my friends. We talk to each other about once a year and it is a marathon talking session to catch up on everything going on in our lives. No matter how far away they may move, they are my friends for life.
It is sad that I am not as close to some of my friends as I once was.Besides friends moving away, some drifted away. They changed jobs and are busier than they once were. A few moved to other churches and we don’t see them as often. Still others grew older and are unable to get out and around as they once did. No matter what their situation, I still count them as a friend. I think of them often and wish we could get together to visit.
There are several ways to re-establish a friendship. Over the weekend I had a friend call to visit. Due to health problems she doesn’t get out as often as she once did. Instead she picked up the phone and we had a long visit. Throughout the years I had several phone friends. We rarely got together in person although we enjoyed nice, long chats on the phone.
Another way is through the computer via email. I have several friends that I will write a quick note to or forward an email. Through that brief correspondence we know that we are thinking about each other. Even more special is receiving a card in the mail. This takes a little more effort but is a lasting way to let someone know that you are thinking of them. Just this week I received a card from a friend who donated Bibles in our honor. It meant so much to know she was thinking of us.
A friend of mine schedules a lunch with several friends of hers once a month. They have a set day and place to meet for lunch. Even if one or two of them are unable to attend, there are still several people to visit with.
Some of my best visits were spur of the moment get-togethers although there are times when we need to make plans to spend time with our friends. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go call a friend I haven’t talked to in a while.