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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Lone Friend

            Steven Spielberg's popular new movie, Lincoln, is based on the historical work Team Of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. In that book, Goodwin tells of the thousands of appeals for pardons Lincoln receive involving soldiers facing military discipline.
            Typically, an appeal came with supporting letters written by influential people. However, Goodwin relates a story of one soldier who sent in an appeal on a single sheet of paper without any supporting documents.
            Lincoln exclaimed, “What! Has this man no friends?”
            “No sir, not one,” said the adjutant.
            “Then,” said Lincoln, “I will be his friend.” And Lincoln pardoned him.
            Without knowing the soldier, Lincoln offered him greater friendship than any other person. Friendship is a commitment, not a feeling.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecc. 4:9-12.)

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