"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother"
It had been a very busy day. Quite tired, I put up the closed
sign and locked the door. My husband, Richard, and I had just
finished cleaning up our restaurant and were getting ready
to relax when a knock came at the door.
I opened the door to find a good friend, Vincent Fisher,
standing there in his favorite pair of dungarees and cowboy
hat, with a big smile. His hand was extended and in it, wrapped
in a moist paper towel, were four beautiful roses; one tightly
closed bud, a larger bud that was just beginning to open and
two fully bloomed pink roses.
This act of friendliness was one of many exchanges between
us over the years. These four roses brought to mind how our
friendship had started a number of years before. It was a
beautiful summer Saturday morning, when Vincent and Natalie
walked into our Country Kitchen restaurant. I greeted them
with a smile and a hearty "Good Morning." During
the conversation that followed, I found that three years before,
they had purchased a country home a short distance from us.
This first visit was the result of their running out of
coffee at home. In the years following, I came to know that
the very first thing to be brought to their table was two
cups of hot, freshly brewed coffee. Over the years I have
served many cups of coffee to them, their family, and friends.
These four roses from Vincent were a symbol of the friendship
that had been brought about by a simple act of friendliness
on my part, years before. Like the rose bud that was just
beginning to open in response to the warm rays of sunshine,
we can help others grow with our acts of friendliness. Often
our being friendly will lead to an opportunity for us to witness
to them about salvation, or to simply express the fact that
they are loved by the Lord. The warmth of our friendliness
will cause their lives to begin opening to receive life and
light from the "Son".
Some acts of friendliness are short and sweet. These may
be directed to those whom we will never encounter again. But
the act itself will be long remembered by them. Like the two
roses that were in full bloom, a short impulsive act of friendliness
will immediately find its mark and warm the heart of another
in a way that might not have happened. The fragrance of that
act will then spark friendliness in them towards another.
Many have returned and related a friendly gesture that I had
Likened to the tightly wrapped rosebud, which was cut too
soon and too short, are those who need a simple expression
of friendliness to start them on the right path. Let them
see the results of the Lord's love that had been extended
to you and culminated in your salvation. Show a friendly interest
in them and be careful not to cut them short. Just as this
bud, they need more time to take in the "Son" shine
of your friendliness, before being cut off.
There is no cost to your being friendly, except a little
of your time. Yet when given to another, it becomes very valuable.
Try it and discover that being friendly will explode into
many warm and wonderful experiences, and produce a rich reward
in the lives of those to whom it is given.
Friendliness has no barriers. It makes no difference if
you are a man or woman, young or old, rich or poor. Whether
we live in the city, or in a small country town, none of these
things are important. It is truly wonderful that each one
of us is capable of expressing friendliness as an extension
of God's love, in whatever situation or place we may find
ourselves in. Each act of our being friendly will become yet
another rose of a different color and fragrance within the
Friendliness is both given and received with the heart.
It is not necessarily seen with our eyes or felt by touch.
One who is blind and has no feeling in their hands can feel
the love of a friendly comment. Friendliness will uplift both
giver and receiver. It is redeeming, kind and healing. Also,
it is soothing, trusting and understanding.
Friendliness is a reflection of God's love towards us. As
the rose whose pedals open softly into the air, God's love
is presented to those watching, waiting, and listening for
the happening. The fragrance of a rose is as a beckoning for
us to come and enjoy its scent and beauty. FRIENDLINESS is
an offering of Gods love, freely given, not expecting anything
in return. Take time to be friendly while working, walking,
eating in a restaurant, or where ever you may be.
Try it, you will like being friendly. I promise you will
not be disappointed. Remember, God loves you, and so do I.