Friendship

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel

Proverbs 27:9

  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

                              John 14: 16-17

 
For the past 25+ years, I have been blessed to be friends with my dear friend Cathy. We’ve worked together on three separate occasions throughout our careers, with each of those times strengthening our friendship even further. When our paths led us into different directions in between those times, we could meet up and easily resume a conversation from months before. From her I learned how not to judge people, especially myself. She provided shelter when I fled from an abusive relationship with a nine-month old on my hip. She offers support, guidance, and the deepest of bonds anyone could wish for. She isn’t afraid to give me feedback, work, personal, or otherwise, because she wants what’s best for me (“as iron sharpens iron…”).  
 
When we first became friends, we were both lost from God (our perspective, not His). As our friendship endured, our spiritual journeys took different paths, converging ever so often with touch points at key moments of despair and seeking. She dried my tears and lifted me up; I answered her questions about God and Jesus as best I could and prayed for her to know Him again.  
 
Just today, she emailed me the following story. Its author is anonymous, so I don’t think I’m breaking any copyright rules by printing it here.  

Near my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing….

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing.

If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way….

Good friends are like that … You may not always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

  She says that I am the horse with the bell, and that she’s the blind horse. Well, not always, my dear friend, not always. As the story says, sometimes I’m the blind horse, and you’re the one whose bell rings out the path in which I should walk.  

It’s such a blessing for our Heavenly Father to bring Christian brothers and sisters into our lives to help support our spiritual walk. Add to that blessing the aspect of the Holy Spirit, who is referred to in scripture as “Helper”, from the Greek word parakletos. This term includes the concept of one “coming alongside another”, one who comforts and assists. With the Holy Spirit, we are never alone, for He dwells within us. In the story above, He is the guide horse, the one Who steers us, sometimes gently and sometimes sternly, but always in the right direction.
 
 

Prayer Requests

  • Praise for the rain He’s given us the past couple of weeks!
  • For those effected by natural disasters
  • For our country as name calling and churlish behavior on both sides of the political aisle threatens potential irreconcilable divisiveness
  • For His church to be the beacon of light in this dark world

  May your friendship with the Spirit of Truth and Life continue to blossom as He leads you into all things.

 

Quotes

“Although your beginning fire of faith may be small, righteous choices bring greater confidence in God, and your faith grows.”  
 
“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t pull you down unless you allow it to get inside of you.”