Fire, Rain and Friendship

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Yesterday I was musing on Carole King’s song ‘You’ve got a friend’. It’s said that she wrote it in response to this James Taylor song, especially:

‘I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend’

When Taylor wrote this song he’d just learnt that a childhood friend of his had committed suicide; he was struggling to overcome drug addiction and depression; he was coming to grips with fame and fortune…

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
And I won’t make it any other way

Yesterday I spoke to Roger. He has suffered with substance misuse and mental health issues in the past. The last six months have resulted in further mental health struggles, business worries and unsettled family relationships.

Like James Taylor, Roger has seen fire, rain and lonely times….

Yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister that further Covid-related restrictions could go on until next March… there could be many folk who will see ‘Lonely times when they cannot find a friend’.

News headlines may include NHS crises, increasing mental ill-health, or domestic abuse. Unnoticed there will be many ordinary people who just need friendship.

Those of us with faith are inspired by the example and teaching of Jesus who set high standards when talking about friendship: ‘Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…’

We need to practise the art of purposeful, committed, dependable, compassionate, sacrificial friendship.

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