My list of friends on Facebook continues to steadily grow ever longer, with many people all over this planet.  I enjoy making connections with these amazing people in this marvelous age we live in, cherishing every new connection to people in far flung places whom I may never be able to meet face to face (at least on this side of the veil).  Moreover, I think it is incredible that we can serendipitously stumble across such people in various public forums and find the joy of meeting infinitely unique people, lovingly created by our Amazing God, in places that we may never be able to see, living lives so starkly different from our own, to share a humble, honest friendship in which we might exchange ideas and learn a little more about ourselves and the human race.  I do try to honor all of my friendships, cherishing every connection with all these wonderful people, a great many of whom have been my friends for over three decades. 

Long-term friendships are especially dear to me because I think it is so amazing that, in this day and age, we can keep connections with those people who were so important to us many years in the past when we were mere children.  One longtime friend of mine (a former girlfriend for a short period back in the days when I was a painfully shy young teenager) is now among my Facebook friends.  This week, she shared a posting that was themed on the old hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”  This song was used in the soundtrack of the 2010 remake of “True Grit” in which Jeff Bridges masterfully reprised the role originally played by John Wayne in the 1969 original of a hard-drinking, gruff, tough, courageous, and exceptionally honest lawman who helped a young girl track down the murderer of her father.  In the 1969 original, the movie was more light-hearted with a comedic tone, but the 2010 remake was more serious, profound, and even dark, showing a portrayal of life that can be hard, ugly, gritty, and seemingly hopeless. 

But despite the dark tone, the director brilliantly worked in a persistent theme of hope, built around the soundtrack’s most prominent song, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.  The tentative, quiet melody of the hymn was played softly at the beginning of the movie at the poignant moment of tragedy in which Mattie Ross’s father laid crumpled, dead on the dark road in front of his own home, on a gloomy, snowy evening, while his murderer selfishly and frantically sought escape, riding his horse furiously down the road, leaving his victim alone on the cold ground.  It would be hard to imagine hope in that moment of stark, harsh, shocking, grief as a loved one was murdered in cold blood, cruelly ripped away from you.  Yet, as the plaintive, soft melody seemed to suggest, the quiet, strong, peaceful presence of God’s Spirit is there with us even in those horrible moments of grief, tragedy, pain, chaos, and hopelessness. 

He is a sure and faithful presence, never leaving us, nor forsaking us (Hebrews 13:5), no matter what happens (Isaiah 43:2).  And there could be no truer friend, always there in every difficult moment of our lives, giving us those strong arms that we can lean on when we need strength, even when it seems as if everyone else in the world has deserted us. 

 


Comments

07/19/2017 4:45am

Thank you lonely home for sharing about Facebook Friends and the Everlasting Arms. Long-term friendships are important to not only you but to all of us, thank you for the informative post.

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08/05/2017 12:32am

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08/05/2017 1:05am

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08/08/2017 1:55am

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Reply
08/11/2017 2:07am

I think that all good relationships are amazing! No matter friend it is or lover. It is great when you can trust and love someone.

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    Author

    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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