Spiritual Friendship

Friendship’s trysts are also quiet resting-places, 

where heart may commune with heart, 

where Jesus comes, too, unseen, 

and gives His blessing. (1)

Twenty years ago United Airlines came out with one of the best commercials about relationships.  The commercial was shot in the sales room of a large manufacturing plant.  The Sales Manager was passing out airline tickets to everyone on his staff, while speaking these words:

“It is time to return to doing business face-to-face. No more FAX’s and no more mass mailings.  We are going to see all of our customers face-to-face. We are going to do business in person!”

In our digitalized world, many of us attempt to maintain friendships through electronic media.  Facebook does not facilitate building friendships.  Neither does Linkedin or any of the other social media services.

I long for face-to-face contact with friends, old and new.  Without them, my spirit withers and faints.

One of the blessings of serving as a minister and serving multiple congregations in several states is that I have good Christian friends in all over the United States.  The curse is that we are separate from one another.

My ministry and life has taken me from my hometown where my Dad and siblings still live.  I have been gone from home for 40 years.  I visit when I can, but I must confess I miss the closeness we could have if I lived next door to them.

My own sons have moved away, as part of the natural progression of life.  Then we moved from the hometown they lived in for 20 years.  I miss my friends and their friends in Pittsburgh.  If we still lived there, they would be able to see their childhood friends more easily.

Do not misunderstand me, I have made new friends, good friends, where I currently live.  However, my wife and I still work and many of our friends here work.  Getting together face-to-face is not as easy as I wish.

J. R. Miller is correct when he reminds us, “Friendships are resting places … where hearts commune … and where Jesus adds His blessing!”

God gave us all these Christian friends for a reason: to live with them, to be encouraged by them, and to encourage them.  Paul wrote to his friends:

For I long to see you … that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (2)

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  1. Quote by J. R. Miller in, Samuel G. Hardman and Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Romans 1:11–12.
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