August 4, 2013
Look at the words friend and friendship if you have not done so recently. Even write your own definition. It may be better than anyone else has written.
Friendship is linked with companionship, fellowship, rapport and affection. Anne Swetchine said it means, “To feel as one while remaining two.” Walter Winchell of radio and newspaper fame defined a friend as the “One who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”
In recent days, I have become aware of the fact that friendships, even of many years, can be interrupted by moving miles away, by illness and shattered by death. The memories continue, but the presence is absent.
My recent weeks have included the heartbreaking experiences of death moving in to fracture forever a treasured friendship. These were friends from high school, college days, professional and community relationships. I deeply valued and enjoyed three great friendships with Troy Rooper of Scott Depot, WV and our high school graduating class; Dick Larson of Decatur, IL, an accountant and often treasurer of our church and most recently, July 26, 2013, close friend of 60 years, James B. Chapman of Saltville, VA, superb pastor, splendid educator, highly successful in business and known nationally and internationally.
When you think about a friend often, send them a letter or card or call and have a good conversation. Do not allow the speed of time to rob you of something you may always wish you had experienced. Here are tips that might help to prevent some regrets about friendships.
1. Make sure you have the mailing address, e-mail address and phone number of special friends and use them every year or more often.
2. A book you no longer read may be a good gift book for a friend. I have always enjoyed such a book. It is sharing a friend with another friend.
3. If traveling in their area, plan a brief visit with them. It will refresh you for your journey.
4. A Christmas card or some other special season greeting may be a blessing to them.
5. Old classmates, about your age, will bless you as you bless them with a call.
6. If you need information a friend may have, get in touch with them. You two may remember together.
7. My late friend, Charles L. Allen, great preacher and superb pastor once said, “You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than in ten years by trying to get them interested in you.” What a preacher and a counselor!
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, seem to stand the test of time over many centuries. What could be more appropriate than these encouraging words? “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
In recent weeks, death has claimed dear friends from high school, college, graduate school and professional pursuits.
It all prompted me to sit down and write the names of special friends I want to call in the near future. I have special friends scattered around the world and across the United States from coast to coast and border to border. I must get busy on that before this day closes. Join me in reviving some neglected friendships.
© 2013 Wm. C. Ellis
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