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Tribute to My Friend Andre

“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.” Derek Bethune

Be Blessed True Friend

Andre was packing up his office. His last clean sweep of the work area he labored from the past ten years. I had followed him into the office building, rather than wait outside for him to wrap things up. Andre had taken a new job with a promising title and even brighter possibilities out East. This was his last stance to leave a mark of the character that took years to develop in the last 50 minutes of his tenure.

I sat and played with my phone. Reading over status post of my Facebook friends while my man tossed reams of outdated documents into the recycle bin. Then from around the corner a man pushing a round gray trash can on wheels said, “You still here Andre?”

His shoes were well worn out, as if many miles of earth had traveled under his feet. His beard was scruffy like that of a guy with other priorities in life. His blue jeans were slightly soiled as though to announce ‘will work for food.’ Our eyes connected. The blue cataracts around his iris were like calluses of a man that has seen far to many bad things in his time. I glanced down at his hands and the ash across his knuckles covered age long cracks in his skin boldly stating, “I work hard for my money.”

They exchanged awkward conversation like that of old friends in a time to say goodbye as the senior of the two took a seat across from me sitting at a nearby conference table. Our eyes exchanged greetings while waiting for the most opportune time to say hello without interrupting their exchange.

After a few minutes of me checking out him and him checking out me I had to do it. I had to ask for his thoughts.

“Mr. Charlie,” as I was introduced, “if you knew that a young man in your company would leave your encounter never to see be seen again, but you sensed a need to share a parting word with him, what would you say?”

He leaned back in his black conference chair looking deep into my soul and didn’t say a word.

Then with the gentleness of a man I once knew he said, “Well son the first thing I’d realize about that encounter is that if that young guy didn’t want to hear something from me it might be a better to invest my two sense somewhere else.”

Without saying another word we both communicated an agreement that bonded my heart and ears to his many years of wisdom.

“If I knew a young man was ready to receive I’d tell him to pursue your passions with the hold of a Pit Bull’s bite.

Whenever in the presence of the wise, whether it’s one or a room full, be sure to listen twice as much as you think you should say.

Be quick and long to gather accurate information. The stuff you often think you see will only lead to wasted time and illusive pursuits.

Never allow the Nay Sayers and Joy Robbers block your blessings, for life is far to short to chance.

I’d tell him to seek the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind. But realize that your faith action step to good deed others pleases Him beyond measure.

If I still had his attention I’d tell him to work hard, but be smarter. Let your work reflect the pursuit of excellence in all that you do and the Lord will pay forward on a product the world finds undeniable.”

Then just as I took a deep breath he said, “ Although there may be many that we call a friend, time will tell on each of them. That guy should learn to master the art of friendship so that its roots grow deep into one of the most significant mysteries of life. If a man has found only one to call a friend in his lifetime he has been blessed. In the end of this journey no mater how long it may be, my friend, you will have then nurtured a true friend in deed.”

True Story

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Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

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