Friends are greatest blessing possible

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter: whoever finds one has found a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are a life-saving medicine. (Ecclesiasticus 6:15-16)”

I love my job.

I love my neighborhood. I love good food.

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I love many things, but this is really a shallow form of liking something.

Tomorrow or the next day, I may not love those things, and I won’t feel bad about not loving them. They never loved me back, and they never gave me more than a quaint feeling of “isn’t this nice?”

If we are to be honest with ourselves, we would say that only a few things really matter in our lives. Jesus would say that only two things are worth our love: God and people.

Loving people is tricky, though. People are difficult, moody, irascible, fickle and self-centered. How on earth can I love people if they are all those things and more? How can I leave myself vulnerable and try to love if I will probably be hurt in the process?

I don’t really have a good answer for that. No answer will really bridge that gap. The only answer is that life without true friendship and love is a dull and tedious affair that isn’t really worth living.

When I have been depressed in my life, the problem is usually that I am alone and without a friend who gives me sturdy shelter. My life is certainly not perfect, but I consider myself lucky and blessed for all the friends that I have.

I give thanks to God for my wife, who loves me in spite of all my flaws. I love my friend Bob, who always takes my side no matter how stupid or wrong he thinks I am.

I give thanks for my friend Jack, who always loved me even when I was self-centered. I give thanks for my friend Ben, who always rolls his eyes as he lets me ramble on incessantly about esoteric jots and tittles.

I give thanks for my daughter, who always gives me hugs and tells me she loves me.

We are fragile and self-centered beasts, but we are built to love one another and be friends with one another.

If you have a friend, let him or her know that they are a treasure beyond compare. Let them know that you would give the world for them and that no material possession is worth a farthing compared to him or her.

If you have a friend, know that you have been blessed with the greatest gift possible.

Father Robert Ard, The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross