Today, we welcome a wonderful guest post from my friend and fellow Catholic author Joan Kelly. Be sure to visit Joan at her website and check out all of her fantastic books on Amazon! LMH
A True Friend Is Always There
The bright afternoon sun warms the breeze that blows strands of hair across my face. Brushing the hair aside and heading up the cement steps, I stop to admire the intricately-carved rose design on the wooden door. The hallway that I enter is quiet and cool with a lingering scent of lemon wood polish.
As I step across the narrow hall, I begin to think about the friend whom I am about to visit. He is my friend, a true friend who is always there and never makes me feel that I’m bothering him. Oh! I know he has dozens of people constantly calling on him and seeking favors. He has great power, great prestige and could direct thousands to act on his command in a moment’s notice.
However, he does not make me or anyone feel small and unimportant. I think that he does this by his own humility: a humility that makes me comfortable in visiting without a prearranged appointment. It is the simple beauty of that humility, love and kindness that flows from his very presence that makes me feel truly honored to call him friend. Honored, humbled, even overwhelmed that I have such a privilege.
Sometimes I think, “He has more important things to do than listen to my petty, personal problems and concerns.” But I can’t help myself. I’m drawn here. I think it is because when I discuss my problem or pour out my thoughts and plans to him, I find understanding and comfort. Always, always, after one of our visits, I leave with a sense of peace. Oh, don’t get me wrong. He doesn’t always give me answers, and sometimes he tells me, “No.” Although he doesn’t say it out loud, I’m pretty sure he often wants me to think about the instructions he has given and figure out the right answer on my own.
That’s one of the best things about my friend. He has rules for life that he never drifts from. He even had these rules written down and made available to anyone who cares to read them. But he doesn’t force anyone to follow them. He lets each freely make his or her own choice.
Pulling open a second door, I step in and quietly walk over to a guest book. He doesn’t need a book to remember who his visitors were, but the staff likes the guest registry. I have met some of these kind and loyal people, and I’m glad to do this simple thing for them. After all, they make sure the place is dusted and fresh flowers are arranged around the room. In fact, I think any of them would defend him, even with their lives, if the necessity ever arose.
Turning, I notice an old and faithful servant sitting in the back of the room. He has fallen asleep again, and soft snores echo through the room. Some may wonder who would have the audacity to be so casual; in some people’s eyes, disrespectful, to fall asleep in the presence of one whom kings and queens have been know to bow to. I smile because I could never imagine my friend as being offended by someone who had dedicated their life to him and now is this comfortable in his presence. It reminds me of an old movie that I saw years ago. It was called the Prince and the Pauper. Miles Hendon, a good-natured ‘soldier for hire’, played by Errol Flynn, saves young Prince Edward on several occasions as the story unfolds. Before the prince returned to the castle, he told Hendon that he could ask any favor, and it would be granted. Hendon asked that he be allowed to sit in the presence of the king. Later when he comes to the castle and approaches the young prince, who was now the king, he pulls a chair over and sits down. The shocked guards and others rushed toward this disrespectful peasant. But the king stops the guards and tells them that he, Miles Hendon, had earned this privilege. I would say that this faithful servant, who comes to visit and falls asleep while sitting here, has also earned such a privilege.
I walk forward and stop several feet from where my friend waits. I know he would be satisfied with a place to repose that was made of simple wood, but those who love and respect him have used gold. A gold with such a fine design that it almost looks like lace: a gold that sparkles with the light from the nearby stained glass window and from the single red candle hanging above the monstrance. I kneel down and reverently raise my eyes to gaze at the host that our priest placed there after Mass this morning. I make the sign of the cross and thank Jesus, my Lord, my Redeemer, and my friend for giving me the honor and privilege of visiting him in this chapel. I thank him for giving me parents who raised me as a Catholic.
For it is in the Catholic Church that I find the Exposition of the Holy Eucharist. I’m given the gift of physically visiting Jesus who never turns me away, never ceases to comfort me, and gives me unconditional love. Jesus my friend.
If you are not in the habit of visiting Jesus in the Eucharistic, you may want to consider making it a part of your weekly routine. As the words say, “You have a Friend in Jesus.” Whatever your joys, sorrows, concerns or questions, He is there and ready to listen. No appointment is necessary, no formal dress required, no fancy vocabulary needed. Even if you don’t have words to say what is in your heart, just sit and visit. He is really good at reading hearts. Jesus gives us himself in the consecrated Host; His true body, blood, soul and divinity. And He loves to have visitors. He is a true friend.
Joan L. Kelly is an author of Christian adventure stories for children and young adults. Joan and her husband, Charles, are the parents of five grown daughters. She waited until her children were grown to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Education and then had the privilege of teaching at a Catholic grade school. Joan loves the written word and has several books published including Hiding the Stranger: the Trilogy which was one of three finalist in the Catholic Writers Guild CALA award. Her goal is to provide novels with adventure and intrigue that will interest children and young adults while also reflecting family values and morals. Joan’s books can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or from her publisher, Bezalel Books. Her web page is www.jlkellyshamrockstories.com