Monday, November 5, 2012

Friendship's Power to Carry Us Through

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Yesterday I preached on Ruth 1:1-18, where Ruth says to her mother-in-law, "Do not entreat me to leave you . . . where you live I will live . . . where you go I will go . . . your people will be my people and your God will be my God."  Ruth's name means "friend," and in that moment she showed the depth of her friendship in an amazing demonstration of self-sacrifice and commitment.  

Ruth's story made me think of Hazel Rhodes Thomas.  Hazel is a chaplain colleague who lives and works in Houston.  She is also a former Clinical Pastoral Education Resident in our program in the Baylor Health Care System who has just given a kidney to a friend.  Wow.  Talk about commitment.

Isn't it amazing the unexpected way in which determined loyalty and love given as a gift to someone else, so often comes back to grace us with miraculous power?  

Today is Monday.  I know Mondays can be hard.  But today cannot possibly be harder than the situation Naomi and Ruth found themselves in so long ago.  Each had lost every man in their lives who could possibly be of any help to them.  They found themselves destitute, without prospects for the future.

Their only possible investment was in one another.  Yet that proved to be enough.  Fifteen hundred years later Jesus would pledge his friendship to all of us who would become his disciples.  "I no longer call you servants.  I call you friends," he said, just hours before he sacrificed his life for each of us.

Who do you need to invest in today?  Who needs your commitment, your loyalty and your fierce, loving support today, your willingness to go above and beyond in friendship?

I am praying that the secret of friendship doesn't just help you to make it through this Monday.  I am praying that it launches you into week of abundant joy.

Leave a comment about a friendship that has seen you through tough times.  I'd love to read about it.

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