Random thoughts for Sunday's contemplative service where I'm leading half of the meditation.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Who do you go to when you fall down?
Who is that friend who can help you up?
I remember a time when I was living in Lubbock, Texas and I was desperate. It was about 4 am, and, instead of being in bed like a 'good little fervent evangelical' I had been out getting into trouble. Nothing illegal, but something that smothered me in guilt. Pre-dawn Lubbock is a pretty desolate place, it was as bleak and lonely as I felt inside.
I needed to talk to someone, but who can you call in the middle of the night? Did I know anyone I could wake from their slumber?
I dialed a friend's number and by some miracle the phone only rang once before he answered. He had woken up about 10 minutes earlier with a sense that something was going to happen, so he was sitting by the phone.
Was it God waking him up or just one of those unexplained coincidences? I have no idea, but I do know that him telling me that story was exactly what I needed to hear. He invited me over and as I pulled up at his house he opened the door and handed me a hot steaming mug of tea - again exactly what I needed.
We must have talked for a couple of hours, I think I left his house just before the rest of his family woke up. He invited me back to talk again that afternoon.
It's wonderful to have friends like that. Someone who will be a companion with you on your life journey, even in those stretches where you are wandering through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. We all need people to be 'Jesus with skin on' for us at times.
Who has been that 4am friend for you?
Who would feel able to call you at 4am?