Friday, 03 July 2020 12:13

A friend in need is a friend indeed!

Written by  Colin Miller, Farmer's Chaplain
Colin Miller. Colin Miller.

Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller on the importance of friends in difficult times.

OPINION: Out of the furnaces and horrors of war come many true stories – some horrific and some heroic. 

Some of courage and sacrifice almost beyond belief and others of friendship, or mate-ship we cannot help but admire.

One story I have in my files tells of two great friends from WWI. They had enlisted together, trained together and were shipped overseas together. They fought side-by-side in the trenches and were indeed inseparable. During an enemy attack, one of them was critically wounded, but because of all the barbed wire he was unable to crawl back to his foxhole.

The entire area was under withering enemy crossfire and it was obviously plain suicidal for anyone to try to reach him. Yet his friend decided he would try. Before he could get up out of the trenches, his sergeant yanked him back and ordered him not to go. “It’s too late” he yelled. “You can’t do him any good and you’ll only get yourself killed.”

Moments later when the sergeant turned his back, the guy was gone over the top to get to his friend. 

A few minutes later he staggered back now mortally wounded himself, with his now dead mate in his arms. The sergeant was both angry and deeply moved. “What a waste” he blurted out. “He’s dead and you’re dying. It just wasn’t worth it.”

With pretty much his last breath, the dying soldier remarked, “Oh yes it was Sarge. When I got to him he said: ‘I knew you’d come Jim’!”

Stories like this get me thinking a little deeper than “normal”, which of course is always good for me. In today’s fast-paced ‘pedal to the metal’ culture, hurried and shallow thinking tends to be the norm. And we miss the truly important!

Do I have any friends like this in my life? Or, would any of my friends consider me to be on the same page as this? 

It is much easier to access quotes on friendship than find a true friend. Much easier to read stories, than be a friend who stands by someone when others have moved on, or just got themselves too busy to connect.  

I remember being instructed in my growing-up years, “A burden shared is a burden halved”. True, of course, when you can share that burden with a friend; not true if your ‘friend’ turns out to be a gossip!

Life on the farm can be busy, busy and yet more busy. It can be easy to start feeling a little isolated, and then more tired than we should be. When stuff like this starts to pile up, we can get ourselves into a headspace that is not actually healthy for us. 

Time for a break, I reckon, or maybe time to catch-up with some friends.

Here is a pertinent quote: “Sometimes being with your friend is all the therapy you need.” (Unknown). I totally agree, and have experienced this myself many times! 

Let me encourage you, today, to call someone just to check and see they are doing OK. Something as simple as this can at times make all the difference in their world – even life or death. And if you need a break yourself, then take some time to catch-up with some good friends.

If you happen to need someone to talk with you but don’t have anyone at the moment, then email me as given below.

It would be remiss of me not to close out today by acknowledging a quote from the Good Book: “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

How true…yes, he has been a friend to me like no other!

Take care and God bless.

• To contact Colin Miller email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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