A Reflection of Friendship


Jimbo helping in the community

It has always been hard for me to get close to people since I have been in ministry. I know that sounds crazy, but many of my Pastor friends have always told me never to  be transparent. But, I was bound and determined to prove them wrong. However, over the past 25 years of ministry I now understand what they were trying to say, I have had to retreat to a place that is not a place I would have seen myself in. So many people who I am sure had good intentions but had no idea the pain they caused in my life as I would trust, pour out and open myself up to them and yet they would leave my life as fast as they came in. I continued to look at myself and ask my wife, “what am I doing wrong? Is it me?”. I have opened up to some who would use my vulnerable words against me and would call themselves friends. I have had those who I found were friends only because they could get to a perceived level in their lives and I have had those tell me (on many occasions), “God brought me to help you” and leave without a word. I say all this to say, this past week, I lost someone who I could be transparent with, a brother, co-worker and true friend to an accident that took his life. His name was Jimbo Cline. I only knew him for a little over a year but he became a brother in my life who I could let my hair down with, trust with my complaining, and who would never use anything I said against me. He was always checking on me, encouraging me and showing God’s love even when I had those days I felt like giving up. These types of friends only seem to happen a few times in a lifetime and his death was unexpected and a loss to his family, friends, co-workers and me who considered him the brother I always wanted.

Many of you I am sure are reading this and are not sure what to think. But, I wanted to write this to open eyes to the fact that, real friendship is important today. Committing to the relationship takes work, trust, patience and a willingness to except who they are.  I want you to know that I do have true friends whom I know love me, never care if I mess up from time to time or care if I get upset and allow me the opportunities to blow off steam. I am thankful that God has placed them in my life. I define love as, “love is giving of myself for the good of someone else”, this is what my friend Jimbo showed to all those he came in contact with and I can see this also as a great definition for “Friendship”. Are you willing to give of yourself for the good of your friends?

I am not giving up on allowing myself to not build walls and that is due to the hope that Jimbo Cline gave me, that real friends do exist.  “Jimbo, thank you for giving me hope and giving all those you touch a glimpse of what God means to Love your neighbor as yourself. Jimbo use to say, “Any day you get to go be with Jesus is a good day”. I know you are having a great day buddy…will miss you, but will see you one day….Blessings to all, r

2 thoughts on “A Reflection of Friendship

  • Sharon Kingrey

    Amen to this. In the past I have gotten so involved that I’ve had my
    heart bruised over and over, but never BROKEN. A sincere effort is never
    a failure in God’s eyes!

    Compassion is the heartbeat of serving!

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