Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 23, 2006

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

An eleven-year-old boy with down syndrome was an inspiration to me recently. I was a visitor at a congregation where this boy and his family worship. When he saw me, he decided to be my friend whether I liked it or not, and I found out that I liked it. During the break between meetings, snacks were served. He went over and picked up one of the snacks with his bare hands and came over and handed it to me. I, of course, ate it, germs and all. Since I am now writing this, he obviously didn’t harm me. He sat beside me, he found the hymn book we were using and handed it to me. He hugged me and he kissed my hand. I held his hand all during one of the meetings and one of the ladies in the meeting showed me that she had taken a picture of our hands clasped with her digital camera during the meeting. I then had to have my picture taken with my friend. Now that boy just wouldn’t take no for an answer, and it was wonderful.

Sometimes we complain that we don’t have friends. Some say that if we have one or two good friends in a lifetime, we are very fortunate. However, if we don’t have friends, maybe we haven’t been friendly. We just might have to be the first to say, “good morning” instead of complaining that others never speak to us. We might have to reach out to someone in need even if we aren’t sure that they “like” us. However, we need to recognize that no matter how friendly we are, some people will not accept us as friends. That hurts!

The Lord Jesus is the only one who is really the “friend that sticks closer than a brother”. He was the good Samaritan who saw us wounded by thieves. (See Luke 10:25-37). He came to where we were when the religious system would not. He FIXED US UP by pouring in oil and wine. He PICKED US UP by putting us on his own “beast” and then He PUT US UP in an inn where we could be cared for until He returns. I suppose the thieves represent what sin and the world does to us. The oil and wine represent the saving power of the Gospel. The Inn represents a congregation that takes care of those who have experienced salvation. The good Samaritan represents the Lord who has gone away but who has promised that He is coming again (John 14:1-3).

The difference between the Lord and my down-syndrome friend is that the Lord WILL take no for an answer. Many people reject the Lord when He extends His friendship and salvation to them. It must be heart-breaking for the Lord to realize that there are some people who will not respond to His love and friendship no matter what He does. My Bible says that there are some serious consequences if we pass from time to eternity without accepting the Lord as our Savior and friend (John 3:36).

I know we call some individuals “down-syndrome” people. But they aren’t. They are “up-syndrome” people and they are smarter than most “normal” people. They have friends because they are friendly. And their example speaks to us of the Lord’s desire to have each of us as His friend. Those who reject Him are the “down-syndrome” people. They lose a friend who wants to love them now during this present time, and they lose their souls for eternity.

Bruce Collins

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