Proverbs 27 9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
A couple of weeks ago, Denise and I did something different. We flew to New York for the weekend to attend a birthday party for a friend. I had pre-recorded my sermon and was assured by Atty. Rita White of our video team that the message I preached and recorded could and would be edited into the larger worship video and blended into the live worship service. So, I joined Denise in New York for the party.
Wendell, the birthday guy, is married to a college classmate and friend of my wife, Denise. Thinking back to 1973, I met Vickie Assevero a month or two after Denise and I began dating. Denise and I were just getting to know each other. One Saturday, Denise received a call from Vickie asking if she were up for going to New York for an impromptu party with friends they knew from Yale. Denise told Vickie she had a new boyfriend, me. Vickie said, “Why don’t you ask that new guy, me, to join us, and we will all drive to New York together.” I did not want Denise to think that just because I was heading into the ministry. So, trying to be cool, I agreed to go with them to New York, even though I knew I had a Sunday morning commitment to play the piano at church the next day.
As it turned out. Vickie and her friend, Jose, stopped by Densie’s apartment and dropped off his dog with Caroline Jackson, Denise’s roommate. The four of us piled into the car and rumbled off to New York. Once in New York, we went to about three or four parties. I tried to play it off and be cool, but the later the night carried on, the more concerned I became that Vickie and Joseh did not look like they were returning to New Haven that Saturday night. The last stop we made was at the home of a guy named, Atiba. It was midnight and his wife did not seem particularly happy we had barged into their home in the middle of the night, with their baby asleep. AS we sat on the floor looking at the baby, I whispered to Denise that I was going to take the bus back to New Haven, because at 11 AM, I had to play the piano for the worship service at the Black Church at Yale. At 1 pm, I was scheduled to play for a church in Fair Haven, Connecticut pastored by Bob Jones with the assistance of Winston Gooden.
Even though I was prepared to take the bus back to New Haven, Denise insisted on returning with me. At 4 AM, we boarded a bus at the Port Authority in New York, arriving in New Haven at 6 AM.
Why am I telling you this? Because that was my introduction to Vickie. Denise and I have maintained a friendship with Vickie all these years. The two of them were friends as undergraduates, even traveling to Missispie to volunteer on a voter education project. We visited Vickie during her first marriage to a man from Senegal when they lived in Paris. Now, well into her second marriage to Wendell, we have visited the two of them in Trinidad and New York.
This time, in New York for the party, we took a break to attend Trinity Episcopal Church. I was hoping to catch up with Phil Jackson, who is the Rector of the church. Phil was in Detroit years ago as the pastor of a church. He and I were collegues and friends and I was looking forward to hearing him preach. As it turned out, Phil was out of town on sabitical. One of the assistant ministers took our photo and my card and said he would pass it on to Phil. Yesterday, Phil called and it was great catching up with him.
What is the point of me rambling on about Vickie, Phil and a series of parties in New York? The point is all of this centers on relationships and friendship. Life is not much without friends. Denise and I have been married 45 years. Denise and Vickie have been friends 49 years. I have known Vickie 48 years.
In the Book of Proverbs, the wisdom writer talks at times about friendship and its importance. The verse I am lifting up today is from Proverbs 27. I encourage you to take stock of your friendships, Hold them close, don’t let go. Thank God for your friendships and thank God for the life you are living and the life to come!
Questions for Reflection:
- What are your thoughts about friendship?
- Who are the longest friendships that you have?
- What is it that makes these friendships special?
- How do you make new friends?
Prayer: God, I thank you for my friends. I thank you for those who love me and care for me, in spite of my imperfections. I thank you for those who lift me up and share the sweetness of counsel. Bless me now with great friendships and great joy. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Written by Pastor Nick Hood3
Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook
New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.
Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.
Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3
Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG