Ancient Words from a Lost Friend

Friendships have always been very important to me. I’m not sure why really, except that without my friends I often feel like less than nothing. The friends God has given to me have brought unpronounceable joy to my life and not a few heartaches. They have been God’s instruments to make me a better man than I might have been.

It was probably 1976-77. It had been a particularly rough year. Feeling alone, abandoned, aimless, needing a friend, wondering what was next. One person rose up. They saw my need. They directed my heart. They offered no false hope. But they pointed the way in a creative and beautiful way. Just a few words. Just a simple gesture. But it has traveled with me for now 45 years.

Written out in pen, a burned edge paper was mounted on a paper board covered with blue construction paper, now faded to gray. With a thumb tack it has traveled to my office walls for 45 years. How many walls? (too many to count) How many glances and moments of encouragement in the wisdom splashing from its author, a dear friend now absent from my life for more than 35 years. 

My absent friend and I have both been through some hard times. But not so hard that I could ever forget the friendship we shared. I don’t know if I would have made it through the last the 45 years without your words hanging on the wall, abiding in my heart, directing my spirit to Him who holds us both. I thank you for your place in my life. My wife and children thank you. Indeed, were it known to all the people that I have been privileged to know and teach and converse with, many would bow down to you and thank you also. Your glories are stored in heaven. I wish you well and hope this new year brings great joy to you. It is my prayer since you will likely never see these words.

Trust

long days and unknown roads ahead
and fog so thick in the darkness
but my hand is held softly
and I feel the scars and trust
Him.

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