“Phone a friend,” suggests Amitabh Bhachchan to the floundering person sitting opposite him in ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and so often that friend is the desperately needed lifeline.
In joy or in sorrow, we need the company of friends. Yes sometimes for a while we need to be alone, but just awhile, and then we need to move across and meet those we love and cherish and allow them to share our lives.
A man who lost his wife to cancer found himself wanting to be alone.
In time he dropped out of his worshiping community and curtailed all of the activities he and his wife had shared for so many years. He increasingly kept to himself. He quit socializing at work and returned straight home to an empty house. He turned down invitations from friends and co-workers. His leisure time was now spent watching television or working in his shop in the basement.
His contact with people dwindled until friends became alarmed that he might live out his life as a recluse. One came by to visit and to invite him over for supper the next evening. The two old friends sat in comfortable chairs by a warm fireplace. The visitor extended the dinner invitation and encouraged him to come. “You may need to allow others to share your pain.”
The man responded that he figured he was better off without being around other people. After all, others only seemed to remind him of all he had lost. “And besides,” he said, “it’s just too difficult to get out anymore.”
They sat in silence for a while, watching the wood burn in the fireplace. Then the visitor did an unusual thing. He took tongs from a rack by the fireplace, reached into the fire, pulled out a flaming ember and laid it down by itself on the hearth.
The men sat in silence watching the red-hot ember. It slowly lost its glow. Neither man looked away as the once-hot coal gradually transformed into a crusty, black lump. After some moments, the widower turned to his companion and said, “I get the message, my friend. I’ll be over tomorrow evening.”
We cannot survive in any healthy way by ourselves. The leaf needs the branch.
The branch needs the trunk.
The trunk needs the roots.
And the roots need the rest of the tree.
We are connected. And in that connection we find life and vitality.
So the next time you want to run and hide or burrow deep into a place to be all alone, remember we are not made to be that way. Like the flaming ember which died when other pieces could not help it burn, we will also burn ourselves out if we try to go it alone, especially when we go through a period of an intense emotional upheaval.
Then you need to phone a friend, and the best friend you can phone, is when you are down on your knees in prayer and He listens, and smiles, because He’s waited for that call..!
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