Proverbs 17:17a – A friend loveth at all times. (KJV)
John 15:15 – Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. (KJV)
My pierced ears are graced with a pair of carved, silver eagles' head earrings, a gift from a friend whose life ended quickly and unexpectedly last year.
When I became a hospice volunteer over eighteen years ago, Alice had already been giving of herself to countless others for more than twelve years, and I marvelled at someone who could give such dedication for so long. We became fast friends, and little did I know how quickly ten, fifteen, eighteen years could fly by when one has found their volunteering niche. Some friends come into our lives for a short time; some weave in and out; and others come and stay. Alice was one who stayed until her untimely passing.
As well as volunteering with clients, for several years, we served together on the board: she as volunteer-liaison, I in publicity. She backed every idea I came up with to further the cause, and no matter what went on in any situation, she always kept a positive outlook and was a huge proponent of any way she could help to ease human suffering and further the public's awareness of hospice.
Though she never verbally preached, it was her unfaltering faith in God's grace, love, and direction in her life that gave her the strength and ability to put others before herself in every instance, and thus, she led by example. She preached without preaching. I'm sure that not even she kept count of how many people she had helped, how many she had put at ease emotionally and spiritually through her thirty years of serving those who were terminally ill and grieving.
Isaiah 40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (KJV). Her love of anything eagle-related was a symbol of how she lived her life in accordance with this verse.
And how she lived her life was not only an example to others of the joy and personal rewards received by those who volunteer, who give back, who give something of themselves, no matter how much or how little, but was also a perfect example of what we can do when we walk with God as our friend. Many Bible verses and hymns speak of God as a friend who will come and stay, if we but ask. In today's Scripture, Jesus states that He prefers to call us His friends rather than His servants — and oh! what a friend we do have in Jesus!
Prayer: Lord, hear our prayer of thanks for Your friendship, and for all those whose friendship we are given through Your grace. In Your name, we pray and give thanks for this day. Amen.