I was going to revisit a couple posts, on passion and love slaves, and talk about friends, but it was too long, so I’ll save the revisit for next week. Lets consider friends. Here are a couple of pictures from my visit to Hito, a small Spanish village of less than 200. This was last May and I went to take pictures of a fiesta there. These are the group of diablos in the village church. You can see the cow bells on their backs as they bounce them up and down to make lots of noise.
I met Jose Maria, who offered information on the fiesta (he was in the group of diablos). He also said I should talk to his father, who had been the mayor of the diablos for many years, until he was 70. Then he asked a friend to take me to his father’s house, just outside of town. Jose Maria said he couldn’t take me because he and his father do not speak to each other. I asked why that was, and he said “that’s life.” I went and met the father, Valentin, who was 83 years old. He raises greyhounds and goes horseback riding every day to take his dogs to chase hares. He danced a quick jig to show me he didn’t really need his cane. And in our conversation he offered his wisdom on what are the two most important things in this life – happiness and love. Although I agree these are important, I couldn’t help find the irony of this statement from someone who won’t talk to his son, and is named Valentin no less. Here is a photo of Valentin showing me another photo of himself as the mayor of the diablos, many years ago.
When I think of true friendship and the Bible, David and Saul’s son Jonathan come to mind. And there are many statements in Proverbs about friendship: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for (to help in) adversity. – Prov 17:17. A man of many companions may come (may be carried by them) to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer (is more loyal) than a brother. – Prov 18:24. (The words in parenthesis are from the Spanish NIV.) Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. – Prov 27:6. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. – Prov 27:17. In other words, one person changes, improves another with Good Love, even more by sharing Better Love and sharpening one another.
There is a saying in Spanish that “what doesn’t kill you, makes you fatter.” It usually refers to finding something like a hair in your food. And we say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Which usually refers to the fact we all go through tough times, but they make us stronger. And what are friends for, if not to help us through those tough times? That’s why I like the fact that the Spanish of Prov 17:17 adds “to help in” adversity.
I remember all my good friends in Spain, especially those who have helped in adversity, like Jose, Juan, Begoña, and Maria Victoria. And all the friends I’ve shared time, meals, and conversation with. And the best neighbors I’ve ever had – Pedro y Yvonne. There are even special friends in Spain I have never (yet) met, but communicate with in email, like Carlos in Sevilla. Carlos sent me the pictures of the Isabel II medallion with NODO (NO8DO), which I shared in the post on Dec 17, 2010. He also provided some photos of another medallion I will share soon. Carlos says that a man’s riches are his friends and his family. And we should all treasure our true riches. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matt 6:21/Luke 12:34.