Changes in life are inevitable. Solomon spoke of those in Ecclesiastes 3 where he said, “To everything there is a season, a purpose for everything under heaven.” To lose someone in your life, even if it is only through a change of location, can leave you feeling empty.
That happened to me and two of my friends this week.
One man, a former co-worker of my husband, had retired recently and decided to move away. He wanted to spend his golden years living at the coast, an environment in which he had lived much of his earlier life. He left on Wednesday. When he is settled, we plan to visit. He had been such a spark in our lives, a friendly fellow who always kept us in stitches with his one-liners. We’ll miss having him around.
Another friend, a person I’ve known for the better part of forty years, moved into a new living arrangement with plans to travel. He had participated in my critique group the past two years and had been a faithful contributor. He will leave a big hole in the group’s makeup.
Having a friend is one of those gifts we don’t always appreciate. God made it clear in his word that he valued friendship among his people.
In Proverbs 17:17 he said, “A friend loves at all times.”
In Proverbs 18:24 “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
In the Bible Ruth thought relationships important enough to pull up roots. The young woman implores her mother-in-law not to leave her (Ruth 1:16) “For where you go I will go, where you lodge I lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God mine.”
My friends, who have made their changes for personal reasons, will leave a vacant spot in my life, a void that only they could fill. But with the convenience of transportation, e-mail, and the telephone, they are not forever lost to me. Solomon would be envious.
I wish them well.