Tonight, I feel drawn to talk to you about friendship. So what is friendship? How do you define a friend? Well, most of us these days probably have hundreds of friends on social media, but I’m sure if we look closely at that list we can divide it into many smaller groups. Those we belong to clubs with, groups we share an interest with. Those we work with those who perhaps actually are friends of friends and perhaps we don’t know very much about them, so when we break the list down, that list is probably very much shorter.
To go even further, if we look at the smaller list, how many on there are what you could honestly call true friends, someone who would risk their life for you or to put it perhaps a little less dramatically, someone who would help you without thought for their self. I feel that would be a very much shorter list. So how do we define friendship? Well, it comes in many forms, there are friends who have skills or talents we can call on when we need them.
Those who will join us for a night out. Those who we share a common interest with. Unfortunately, they’re also friends who are with us for what we can do for them, those who are only our friends while, we have something they need. But are not so keen when we ourselves are in need. There is also the friendship we share with many members of the animal kingdom. A well known, much used phrase is when referring to Dog, Man’s best friend, this title should not be attached to just dogs because we have cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, fish.
Many other members of the animal kingdom that we share our lives with and form friendships with. Who amongst you cannot recall a time in your life when you come home at the end of what must have been the most awful day, maybe at work or from trying to resolve a problem, a day when nothing seems to have gone right for you, the car wouldn’t start, it rained, any number of reasons, and then you put the key in the door and you walk into your home feeling you haven’t a friend in the world.
And then you are met by that bundle of fur that showers you with love and kisses. And at that moment, you know, that whatever else happens, you are not and never will be alone. And I’ve experienced that. An animal offers unconditional love. It asks nothing except that you return that love. And see that it gets a meal and somewhere warm to sleep. That is true love, that is true friendship. A true friend is someone who has said to you, ‘you can call me at any time, I’m always here for you.’.
When you call them late at night or in the early hours. They don’t say, do you know what the time is? They just listen to you and when you say and they wait for you to say, Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be calling you at this hour. They just say it’s all right if you need me, my coat is on, I am on the way to you. That is a true friend because the only thought in their mind at that moment was, what can I do for you?
If you have a friend like that. And I’m lucky enough to be able to say I have several. Then you are truly blessed because what you have there is a very special and most precious gift, a true friend, an earth angel. Who will be with you no matter what the cost, and will be there forever. At this time, it is so important to have friendship – because of so many out there feeling lonely and very worried, not just for themselves, but for those around them as well, and just a few words can make such a difference to their lives.
So pick up the phone. Call someone who perhaps has not heard another voice all day. You could do that for someone, couldn’t you? Perhaps you haven’t seen or spoken to someone for a while, days, weeks, months, maybe even years, let them know you are there for them and all you have to say is. I love you, I care about you or are you OK? Those few words could make such a big difference to them.
So tonight, when you go home. Can you do that, please? Not for me. Not for you, but for someone else. Be that true friend, the one they really need to hear from at this time. And before I finish, I just want to say. Shortly before I logged on tonight, I got a quote sent to me from somebody and I don’t know who it was, but I was obviously meant to get it and I’m sure was meant to share it.
So this is how it goes;
‘the things you do for yourself are gone when you go. But the things you do for others. They remain your legacy forever.’
God bless you all. Thank you very much.
- Spiritual Address given by Frank White during Divine Service at Thundersley C.S. Church on 7th March 2021.
- Watch the full service here.