A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
The Value Of A Friend
Eighty-year-old Blanch Hansen lived alone in Duluth, Minnesota, and shunned her neighbors, including her children. Her mummified body was discovered on February 5, 1985. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner determined Blanch had been dead since May 1981. A family feud was blamed for the family’s failure to check on Blanch, with neighbors avoiding the woman thinking she was mentally ill because of her antisocial behavior. Officials suggested the body found in the house was four years old. There were signs of disrepair with the lawn and house neglected. Her daughter continued to pay the bills, and neighbors assumed Blanche was staying with the children. The family had avoided contact with the matriarch since an argument involving the family’s lake cabin and her request for everyone to stay away.
When God created man, there was a void in Adam’s world that animals could not fill. The Lord took a rib from the man and created the woman. Companionship is essential to the creative nature of humanity. It is not suitable for a man to be alone. Friendship, comradeship, companionship, and family bond are essential parts of the human makeup. What is sad about broken relationships is how someone created in the image of the Divine is forgotten, ignored, and overlooked. In the case of Blanche Hansen, her body was not discovered for nearly four years. Mental illness may have attributed to estrangement from friends and neighbors, but everyone is deserving of awareness by others. The greater tragedy remains for the untold numbers of people living alone and dying alone without friends and without anyone to mourn their passing.
Friendship is not just a relationship of the close association of two people sharing everything in life. The Lord desires for people to recognize people as His creation. Everyone is important to God. Jesus did not die for only a select group of people. Each person is an eternal spirit that will never cease to exist and worthy of recognition and honor as the manifestation of God’s image. There is a need in the world for friendship. It takes effort and concern for the welfare of others. One of the great tools of sharing the gospel is to begin by being a friend. Every person’s value is essential to find and help others see the joy of living for Christ. The unhappy and disgruntled need the gospel. Jesus was interested in the lepers, the blind, the abused, the rejected, and accused to show them His Father’s love. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him, He showed compassion measured by the admonition to sin no more. Being a friend disapproves of a sinful life as acceptable but as a potential opportunity to teach.