Sometimes others just need a buddy.
I have a friend who is quite a bit older than me. We have known each other for well over thirty years. When I was very young, my buddy was already an adult. He was always walking around the neighborhood, and never wandered far from his home. An accident had left him with multiple injuries to his brain and body, so he was somewhat limited. I remember looking up at his smiling face as I was playing in front of my home as a boy, and seeing his kind glow. His gentle nature. He was always nice to me.
Years passed, and I periodically saw him at many different places. His wife was a local woman who worked on the same side of town that I lived on for most of my teenage and young adult life. Wherever she was, he was close by. I remember seeing them at one point, and they had a little boy. I would see them from time to time, and talk with them. A great period of time passed, and I had heard from an acquaintance that his wife had died. I don’t know many details, but he was left with virtually nothing, and very broken inside. I later found out that his son had also moved away.
My buddy disappeared for another period of time. I didn’t see him again for a number of years.
I started working for a company about nine years ago, and began to see my old friend riding a bike around the neighborhoods near my place of employment. I was getting gas at a convenience store last summer, and saw him sitting outside the store. I went over to talk with him for a bit, and learned a little about him. I learned that he was homeless, and really down on his luck.
Throughout the passed year, I have met with him on several occasions. We have talked, prayed together, and walked beside each other through our hardships. He finally was able to get an apartment, and is slowly coming up from the setbacks that left him full of sorrow. Today, I am going to meet up with him. I look forward to just being there for him.
There are so many who just need a friend. It is hard to spend time alone, especially when the people and things that most of us take for granted, leave us. There are so many who just need an ear to listen, a helping hand, or a few minutes to reminisce with an old friend.