In my life, I’ve just had the very best friends. Not gobs of them at any one time, but at each place or church or job as financial planner, the Lord has provided good friends to enrich my life. I look back and thank the Lord for the blessings of friendship. For all those friends He has provided for me. And beyond that I hope that I have been the blessing to someone else as their friend. I’ve learned a lot over the years…and God’s not done with me yet! I’ve learned that having a friend is not a common, ordinary experience. Most people could care less. Even some Christians that we know and love. Let me tell you what I mean. When I left the 3rd church I served, it was a messy and painful experience to say the least. Devastating then and for quite awhile afterwards. There were over 100 ministers in my old denomination in our larger area. I was a member-in-good-standing–or so I thought, whatever that meant. Until it all fell apart for me…and them. Of all those ministers, the whole bunch, only one ever phoned me to say he was praying for me. Only one, and I guess that’s better than none! I guess. No one from my denomination ever stopped by, no one ever sent a letter or a postcard (no e-mail in those days). It was ironic that my dear friend, the local hospital Roman Catholic priest-chaplain, had me preach at the Sunday Mass at the hospital two later and said to ‘get back on the horse’! And another friend, a leader in the Jewish Synagogue in town, phoned to encourage me to start my own church and ‘please use the synagogue as we only use it on Friday Nights and only a few times a year.’ Friends come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. With surprises thrown in! Through all of this, I learned that being a friend is a very important calling from the Lord. Not just saying we are friends, but being one and actually acting as one, which is no ‘act’ at all. I’ve learned that right or wrong, I need to be there for my friends. Like what they did or not, I’m to be there for them just like God is for us when we’ve given Him lots of reasons for Him to ‘head out of Dodge’ from the like of John Fischer! Did you read that little verse in 1 Chronicles yet? Before that verse, for chapters really, are lists and lists of David’s most valuable people–leaders in the army, leaders in the coming Temple, and his own royal assistants. Almost at the end of all those names comes a man named Hushai the Arkite. He’s not in charge of the donkeys or the olive oil or one of the worship singers or an army officer. No, he’s listed simply as ‘the king’s friend’ (verse 33). Some Bible scholars think that the word ‘friend’ here is actually an official office, like an advisor or cabinet officer. But earlier in verse 33 there is mentioned Ahithophel who was ‘the king’s counselor’. David had his advisers but Hushai is his friend. The one he can open up to. The one he can trust like no other. The name Hushai in Hebrew means ‘quick’. As if to say, when a friend is in distress and trouble, don’t hold back. Let them know you care, that you love them, that your prayers will always be there for them. Be a friend like Hushai. Believe me, I’m taking my own advice. I’ve learned. The Lord has shown me. I’ve been there. You too?