(Song playing: "Words of a Friend")
by Pamela R. Blaine

THE  "PRESENT  LIST"

"Hold a true friend with both your hands."
-Nigerian Proverb

When I get on the Internet, there's a little box on the right side of the page.
It is sometimes referred to as a "Buddy List."  On this list there are names.
 Sometimes they are actual names but many times they are made up names
that reflect the interests or occupation of the person.
At any rate, I know who they are and the name tells me that a real live person is
sitting at another computer somewhere, perhaps many miles away.
That person is someone special to me or I wouldn't have added their name to my list.

I have renamed my "Buddy List".  I like to call it my "Present List".
First of all, my list tells me that my friend is online or "present".
There's a double meaning for me because it  means they are not only a
special friend or a "present" to me, but it also means that
they are  a "present" from God and that is
why I refer to my list as my "Present List".

When I get on the Internet, my eyes immediately go toward that little box
of "Presents".  I love seeing my friend's name there.
It says to me that I have a friend and that I'm not alone.
It says that there's someone I care about and someone who cares about me.
I know that I can click on that little instant message box and reach them
immediately if I want to but if we choose not to talk at the moment,
it is enough just to know that they are "there".

There's a story told of a child who after being tucked into bed,
keeps asking for Mama to come back upstairs because the child is afraid.
The mother keeps reassuring the child and saying,
"It's okay, honey, God is there with you."
The child is quiet a moment and then says,
"I know God is here but I need to have someone with skin on."
 Of course, we all prefer having someone with "skin on" but
when that isn't possible, it is still wonderful to know
that those names in my "Present Box"
are real people, just a click away, who care.
As I was thinking about this,
I realized that these few special people in my life
are the same ones that I could call anytime
of the day or night and they would "be there" for me
and I would do the same for them.

Friendship is a precious thing....on or off the internet.....It has been said that...

Everyone hears what you say.
Friends listen to what you say.
Best friends listen to what you don't say.

For me, that little box is a reminder of
the presence of my *Presents*.
This isn't a new concept.  Our ultimate, perfect friend, is God.
He gives us many reminders of His Presence.
"I set My rainbow in the cloud,
and it shall be for the sign of the covenant......"
This is just one very awesome
reminder that He is *there*.  I have always loved the song,
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
 I love it because I *know*, deep in my heart, that there is a real place,
as the song says, "A land that I've heard of," where
we will spend eternity together with our Lord!

I guess I'm like Piglet who likes to be reminded that Pooh is there:

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw; "I just wanted to be sure of you."

Now, when I get on the Internet, I have begun to say
a prayer for the names that I see there.
I thank God for my "Presents" and ask Him to bless them.

Thoughts For You:

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can
sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day,
so I never have to live without you."- Winnie the Pooh
 

Pamela Blaine
c May 31, 2000

"Words Of A Friend"

Looking through old photographs
A slip of paper fell to the floor
It was a note from you, saying I miss you
Wish I could see you like before

(Chorus) These are the words of a friend
Words I will keep 'til the end
I'll hold them close, remembering...
The words of my friend.

Sitting here, wondering how
I will ever make it through
Then you came along and you took my hand
You said, "I love you, I really do"

(chorus)

Kneeling here, I say a prayer
Lord, please stay beside my friend
As I pray for you, my heart does weep
Give my friend some words to keep

(Chorus) Give Living Words to my friend
Words that will keep 'til the end
O Lord, hold them close....remember them
These are Words for my friend

By Pamela R. Blaine
c 1998
 

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