Friends

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My childhood home, Wimper, the Boston Terrier, Aunt Lizzie and unnamed friend

Yesterday, 218 individuals visited  the Old Fool at his website; a peak number of visitors. Why this burst of visitors.  One possibility is that cousin is telling cousin.  Probably they are Lehman first cousins because the first cousins on the Martin side of my family were older than I and most are deceased.  One of the younger Lehman cousins wants a copy of my brother’s book. It is a very limited edition. I hope I can reserve one for her.

IMG_2457Before reading about the peak number of visitors, I was notified by Facebook that three persons had unfriended me.  Perhaps that was timed to keep The Old Friend humble since he is a Mennonite and pride comes before a fall as the wise man of old wrote.

But unfriend creates distance, sounds alienating.  In my opinion “friend” is one of the most beautiful words in the English language.  The enemies of Jesus used it to describe Jesus.  They derided him as being a friend of sinners.  Yet the wise man of old said that a “friend siticks closer than a brother.”   There are brothers who are not friends and friends who are not brothers.   The Old Fool is confident that Jesus sticks by the side of  divorcees, lestians, and gays, even if family and church forsakes then

Milton & Ruth Brackbill, daughter, and friends

Milton & Ruth Brackbill, daughter, and friends

A friend confides; a friend keeps secrets. A friend tells good news.  A friend will give his life for his friend.  Friends can frankly discuss religion and politics.  Friends can disagree and continue to be friends.  Friends are patient with each other. Friends are loyal and true, they do not betray.  Friends assist each other and will join in assisting others.   My father when on his death bed was asked to tell his memories of church problems.  He said, I prefer to think on things that are true,  honest,  just,  pure, lovely, of good report and virtue and is praise worthy.  He was quoting Phillipians 4:8.  Those are the qualities of a friend.

 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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