A little story

I have a good friend that I converse with daily by e-mail. She and I have been friends for 48 years, that’s a long time!  We grew up together, and always lived fairly close by. We went off to different colleges, but always stayed in touch. We came back into each others life when I married, and then got together often. She moved across the country years ago, I divorced, and moved… and yet, the friendship continues. There have been many changes in our lives, including philosophical, political, and moral differences. Still friends. Longtime friendships are rare, and I feel as if no matter what, I need to always love her and keep her for a friend. That’s what friends are for. Thick and thin, caring and loving always. Maybe simply because so many things in life end and fall apart, we should make every effort to ensure a friendship lasts to our dying days.

My friend and I  have strong political and faith differences.  We’ve discovered that we don’t “go there” if we want to have a cordial friendship. Would you say that is copping out?  I feel that we have such a history, with so many shared experiences, that above all,  I want to keep our friendship bonded with those memories. I want to dwell on what we have had together, rather than what may keep us apart.  We enjoy and laugh over a lot of “remember whens”.  Not long ago, probably after I was witnessing to her about my faith once again, or maybe it was my viewpoint on a political issue, but she became quite strong and angry with her words. Usually, one of us backs off, and this time it was me. The verse, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1) came to my mind and I thought I’d give it a shot.  I said something like:  “I am sorry you are struggling financially and I hope you live long and prosper…” or something to that effect… (apologies to Star Trek fans).  The change in her tone was instantaneous!  It was a miracle! The turn around was so quick I had to laugh!  I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the power of the Word of God work so quickly. It was a delight and a joy. Her tone softened, she apologized and you know, it just made things right.  It was a good thing to do. We aren’t going to agree on many issues, but I think our love, and we do love each other–we’ve been through too much for too many years not to–is more important than winning.

What do you think? Have you spoken a verse, or silently prayed a verse and had an instant result? Isn’t it a delight and encouragement to your faith?

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22 thoughts on “A little story

  1. One of my best friends is a union activist, smoker, and skips work if he has a slight cold. I couldn’t dream of being/doing any of these things – but we have never fallen out, and his faith is far more real than many – he does are about the lost, and sees past veneer Christianity. He’s been through some tough times this summer we hope to walk over 115 miles across the moors together! You could call us “The Odd Couple” if your memory goes back that far!

  2. Long time friends are good to keep, no matter what the differences. You can’t replace history with someone, because we are only on this earth for so long. I loved the story, and have echoes of it in my own life. I know I’ve done the same, with prayer, silent or spoken though at the moment I can’t think of any. I just know it’s there. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Often times we lose sight of what Jesus said about loving people. People are seldom won over to Jesus by our arguments, by our debates, by quoting verses when they don’t want to hear them (or even believe in the Bible anyway) but many are won to Him when they experience genuine love from people who say they follow Him. So, Joy, just keep loving your friend. We all should all live that way.

      • That is a great quote…I had a pastor friend who would say, “time to live my sermon today.” He was wise enough to know his lifestyle mattered more than his preaching.

  4. Have a similar friendship with an Atheist. It helps to find middle ground where both people can relate, and if there is enough to building a relationship then it works out nicely. If anything, it gives strength to the notion that we are to love rather than judge.

  5. Good for you, Joy! That’s a lot of years to stay close friends. Shows what a wise woman you are. I have one friend with very different ideas politically and on faith, she almost walked away when I said a little too much when she wasn’t in a place to hear it, but she knows she can ask me anything about my faith and I’ll answer as best I can. Same with some family members, except we just know what not to talk about. They are very set in their beliefs, as am I. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. And sometimes, the very best we can give them is prayer. If God’s will is for them to change their minds, they will, if not, they won’t

    • You’re right Janet. I think for me (and probably for many others) I know how “life before Christ” was–how we were blind, and then we could see, and we so desperately want the people we love to have their eyes opened too. I know, “Pray without ceasing”…

  6. I have learned (as much as we have been taught) it is not possible to change someone else’s mind. They must change it on their own. I keep all my thoughts on politics and religion to myself. I, and those around me, are much happier that way. (Just my humble opinion.) I am, however, extremely grateful that we have the freedom to say what we please in this country, whether it is agreed with or not. And discussion is always a good thing. Arguments on the other hand…not so much. That is one thing I do apprecite about in the blogisphere. I speak with many different types of people that I may not come in contact with on a daily basis, otherwise. And I learn from every single one of them.

  7. As always, much wisdom in your writing Joy. I really love your ability to maintain a friendship over all these years and the priority you give each other every day. That is beautiful!

    I’ve learned the hard way the importance of the proverb you referenced. Far too many times I’ve opened my mouth at bit “too wide” , so to speak. 🙂 But those times when I keep silent or simply give a gentle answer, I’m pleasantly surprised by how God does the talking for me!

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