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When the Road Darkens

This morning I considered two quotes. One is from a movie version of the Agatha Christie novel Death on the Nile, where a self-centered and arrogant young woman comments, “Isn’t it awful when one’s friends fall on hard times? One simply has to drop them!”

The other is a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. It says, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

The contrast between the two quotes made me ponder: what kind of a friend am I? When my friends are crushed under life’s circumstances … when doubt and depression and grief overtake them … when the pain seems to go on without end … what will I do?

Will I immediately wash my hands of them? After all, they don’t have anything they can give me. They can’t meet my needs in the middle of their own crisis.

Will I keep the relationship going for a little while, but with less and less energy and initiative on my part until it finally fritters away? Get on with my own life and leave them behind to succeed or fail on their own?

Or will I be faithful when the road darkens? Will I walk the entire length with them, the whole Via Dolorosa? Knowing it’s going to cost me. Knowing it’s going to hurt. Knowing it’s going to be a long, long tunnel before they come out the other side.

What kind of a friend am I?

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