There is a poem written by George Eliot that, although short, has a great message.

“Oh, the comfort

the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh

thoughts, nor measure words

but pouring them all right out

just as they are

chaff and grain together

certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them

keep what is worth keeping

and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

There is no better feeling than having a friend that knows you, warts and all, and will still not condemn or embarrass you for your weaknesses. My wife, son and daughter are three such persons. They know me nearly as well as I know myself and yet I feel comfortably safe with them. In a similar way my heavenly father not only knows my every weakness, but he knows my thoughts and intents of my heart as well. Yet my father loves me as a son and forgives me despite my being unworthy of such treatment. I have just described a “true friend” and they are hard if not impossible at times to find.

Will Rogers made two statements that I truly love. One is “I have never met a man I didn’t like.” The other is, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.” So may times we have this turned around. We distrust people we meet until they prove themselves worthy of our friendship. Please do not misunderstand a friend from a true friend. It has been said “If we have one or two true friends in a life time, we are blessed.” Some people may never find a “true friend” in a lifetime.

Would it not be better to greet others with friendship until their character proves them unworthy of our friendship? But even if proven unworthy of our being their friend, we can and must always still be friendly. Folks do not have to be perfect for us to like them. If so some of us would never have a friend. David was a man that God loved and considered a friend, yet David made many mistakes. Abraham was a friend of God, yet he had weaknesses as well.

So since we are all human and thus imperfect, should we not treat each other with friendship and as the poem suggest, be that person that others can feel safe and comfortable being around knowing that we would not criticize or condemn them for weaknesses we all possess?

Just something to think about!

Harvey Schultz



Filed under Harvey Schultz, Religion


  1. Debbie Roszel

    Are you sure of the origin of your quote? This has been a favorite of mine for 20+ years, but I did not know its author. I was reminded of it on December 5, 2006 (odd “coincidence” of time–your entry being so close to that date). My reminder attributed the poem to George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). Not that it matters extremely. It’s great truth, whoever spoke it.

  2. This piece was from a friend of mine – My research also leads to Eliot.

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