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Carrying Others’ Sorrows

 Although the North American Indians had no written alphabet before they met the white man, their language was anything but primitive. The vocabulary of many Indian nations was as large as that of their French and English exploiters, and often far more eloquent. Compare the coldness of “friend” with “one-who-carries-my-sorrows-on-his-back.”

—United Church Observer

Thank God For You


Good friend of mine.

Seldom is friendship such as thine;

How very much I wish to be

As helpful as you’ve been to me—



Of many prayer guests, one thou art

On whom I ask God to impart

Rich blessings from His storeroom rare,

And grant to you His gracious care.



When I recall, from time to time,

How you inspired this heart of mine:

I find myself inclined to pray.

God bless my friend this very day—



So often, at the throne of Grace,

There comes a picture of your face:

And then, instinctively, I pray

That God may Guide you all the way—



Someday, I hope with you to stand

Before the throne, at God’s right hand;

And to say to you—at journey’s end:

"Praise God, you’ve been to me a friend—


—Joseph Clark

Durer’s Praying Hands

 From childhood Albrecht Durer wanted to paint. Finally, he left home to study with a great artist. He met a friend who also had this same desire and the two became roommates. Both being poor, they found it difficult to make a living and study at the same time. Albrecht’s friend offered to work while Albrecht studied. Then when the paintings began to sell he would have his chance. After much persuasion, Albrecht agreed and worked faithfully while his friend toiled long hours to make a living.

 The day came when Albrecht sold a wood-carving and his friend went back to his paints, only to find that the hard work has stiffened and twisted his fingers and he could no longer paint with skill. When Albrecht learned what had happened to his friend, he was filled with great sorrow. One day returning home unexpectedly he heard the voice of his friend and saw the gnarled, toilworn hands folded in prayer before him.

 “I can show the world my appreciation by painting his hands as I see them now, folded in prayer.” It was this thought that inspired Albrecht Durer when he realized that he could never give back to his friend the skill which had left his hands.

 Durer’s gratitude was captured in his inspired painting that has become world famous. And, we are blessed by both the beauty of the painting and the beautiful story of gratitude and brotherhood.

—The Bible Friend

The Shortest Way

 H. K. Downie tells about a large newspaper that offered a substantial amount of cash for the best answer to the question, “What is the shortest way to London?” The entry which won the prize has: “The shortest way to London is good company!”

—Henry G. Bosch

Best Definition

 An English publication offered a prize for the best definition of a friend, and among the thousands of answers received were the following:

 “One who multiplies joys, divides grief.”

 “One who understands our silence.”

 “A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.”

 “A watch which beats true for all time and never runs down.”

 But here is the definition that won the prize: “A friend—the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”



Be A Friend

I went out to find a friend,

But could not find one there,

I went out to be a friend,

And friends were everywhere!

Only God Gives A Friend

I think that God will never send,

A gift so precious as a friend,

A friend who always understands,

And fills each need as it demands,

Whose loyalty will stand the test,

When skies are bright or overcast,

Who sees the faults that merit blame,

But keeps on loving just the same.

Who does far more than creeds could do.

To make us good, to make us true,

Earth’s gifts a sweet contentment lend,

But only God can give a friend!

—Rosalie Carter

Buddy-Buddy Among Creatures

 On top of the Spanish Pyrenees may be found a magnificently beautiful but elusive mountain goat. It seems always to get away from shooting range. Why? It has a companion, a young goat, who follows and sounds the warning of enemies around it.

 The rhinoceros has very poor eyesight. But its tough hide is infested with ticks—a delicacy to a certain little bird which rides on its back, feeding on the insects and alerting the rhino to danger.

 Both the ratel, a badger-like animal, and the little honey-guide bird love honey. And so they go out together. The keen eye of the little bird quickly pin-points a beehive with honey, and the ratel’s powerful claws tear up the hive, making the honey available to both.

Animal Cooperation

 The animal inhabitant of the Pinna Marina is a blind slug or snail, which has many enemies, the worst of which is the cuttle-fish. No sooner does the pinna open his bivalve shell, than the cuttle-fish rushes in. How can such a blind defenseless creature secure food and protect himself?

 Luckily there is a kind of crab-fish, with keen sight, who is a constant companion of the pinna. They live together in the shell that belongs to the pinna. When the latter is hungry, he opens his valves, and sends out his faithful companion to secure food. If any enemy approaches, the watchful crab dashes back to his blind protector, who quickly closes the valves as soon as his friend is inside.

 On the other hand, when the crab has returned with food and no foe is about, he makes a gentle noise at the opening of the shell, which is closed during his absence. When admitted, the two friends then feast together on the fruits of the crab’s industry.

—Arthur Tonne[1]

[1]Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, (Garland, Texas: Bible Communications, Inc.) 1996.

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