Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Voice of a Friend

I had a dream this morning that I was coming home. I arrived in a U.S. airport in a wheelchair, like some of our servicemen and women have from their devastating wounds, and I saw some people I recognized. I did not know them well, but I was so happy to see them. I thanked them for how they used to simply say hello and smile to me. I sensed their kindness. That meant more to me—especially now—than they could ever know.

It reminded me of a note I wrote to someone I think as a friend just before the New Year. I wrote this:

Thank you for being in touch with me over the last several months. To borrow the words of another, those who have not been enclosed in the walls of prison without cause...can have but little idea how sweet the voice of a friend is.

I've had some very tough times here in Iraq. Fortunately most people will not have to experience such trials and struggles. Thank you. Thank you, for your kindness towards me. It meant more to me than I have the power or words to convey.

I think there are many lonely people in the world. Many people who need a smile, a hug, a pat on the back. Obviously, they don’t have to be at war to experience pain. There are enough trials and struggles in the world. I’ll never forget the words I memorized of one church leader, who said, “If we could look into each others hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance and care.” (Attributed to Elder Marvin J. Ashton)

No comments: