“A friend loves at all times,
and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.”
~Proverbs 17:17 (NRSV)
True loneliness may be a fact of genuine adversity without a listening ear to beat our lament against; still, the Lord defies all manner of loneliness by his rich Presence. That Divine Ear is piqued at a moment’s heartfelt prayer. Heaven knows we need it.
But, then there are friends—kinsfolk and those chosen, by personality and other situational matches, for the role destined to give loving support.
Where would we be without them?
As If God In Skin
Whether those we come to rely upon in times of dire need are blood-kin or not is irrelevant in the context of this proverb. The reality is, God may even select the circumstances for the acquainting of otherwise strangers who come into our midst, and we into theirs, and this is only remarked on later, as a matter of wonder.
The role of that brother or sister-in-arms is tantamount to the faithfulness that is only known to the Lord of creation—the Remitter of life itself.
Such faithfulness bestows to us reams and banquets of unexpected favour when we most need it; desperation, the language we cried from our inner being—not knowing at all what was really required and what help might sort us out. But our friend—the exemplar of God in skin—came there to be both confidant and practical facilitator of momentary healing. And then they were even more.
Yes, God made himself known through them. They caused us to believe, afresh, that goodness and hope belong, deeply enshrined to a world that shows scant regard.
Faith, therefore, transformed our view of life; we had new bearing for faith and the love we received compelled us to look to confer it on another.
Friendship Motivates Friendship Because Of Love
Love wins. It may be a popular term, and in this context it is never truer. The love implicit within the bond of friendship teaches us the practice of a worthy love. As a flow on, it inspires and motivates the action of love that might even look for opportunities of hardship so as to be gifted passage into the role.
Such a love does not go AWOL at a time of heightened need; it rises to the occasion and senses destiny unfolding; it goes long into the night and doesn’t quit.
Such a love redefines relationships, personal outlooks, and life itself as it subsists for those affected. A great and laudable ambassador for God is the friend in times of need.
Friendship can shatter the evils of loneliness and break holds constructed in our own minds; it warms the heart; and, it gives witness to faith—that love can redeem impossibility out of the jaws of death.
Friendship: the gift of grace.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.