By Jim Simpson
God touched my heart this morning in my Pastor’s sermon about the intimate friendship the Bible reveals to us between David and Johnathan. They were kindred spirits brought together by God, yet separated after a time, through God’s providence. Seldom do we have the opportunity in this life to even have one of these types of friends. I have been blessed to have two. These are the friends that will never leave your side, regardless of what life brings either of you.
With one, I walked through the minefield of Alzheimer’s. With the other, a dehabilitating battle with brain cancer. Each fought valiantly but ultimately lost their battles with these merciless diseases. I was blessed to share, with each of them, moments I will never forget.
As Alzheimer’s stole the last dignity of my lifelong friend, he became increasingly combative with his caregivers. I was called late one night to drive an hour to help those caregivers calm him enough for them to give him a shower and provide for his basic needs. Upon my arrival, I found everyone afraid to go near him. I focused on the empty eyes behind which my dear friend used to reside. I moved toward him and encircled him with the loving arms of the old friend he still “knew” to trust. The nurses began to bathe him as he relaxed and laid his head on my chest. As my clothes became soaked from his shower, I experienced one of the greatest blessings of my life. That moment was one I will cherish until he and I once again embrace in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
I had a similar experience with my other dear friend as the ravages of brain cancer stole away his ability to speak. When we could no longer communicate with words, I just held his hand through his pain from that terrible disease. We both knew the other was still there.
What a blessing to have been given the opportunity in this life to have three such amazing friends.
Thank you Jesus for being my loving God, my Lord and Savior, my strength and guide and my FRIEND. I will never be alone as long as I know you will always be there to hold my hand through every trial and surround me with your love.