A True Friend

I have my new friends at the Fairfield Bay Public Library to thank for this post. This little book lover’s oasis has been my refuge during many hours of my study break. Their staff is extremely gracious. They supply non-stop wi-fi. And they have a great “Sale Rack” to which they add daily treasures. Talk about a bookworm’s delight! I have been scouring that stack searching for riches that come printed and bound.

Today, I picked up The Essays of Francis Bacon. Sir Francis is the 16th-17th century scholar who gave us the phrase, “knowledge is power.”

When I saw the author, the title, and the fact that it was a hard back for only $2.25, I snatched it! Wisdom of the ages for $2.25? That’s a bargain in any economy!”

This afternoon I began to sift through the pages. I landed on his essay simply entitled, On Friendship. I’ll let Francis himself “do the talking.” Hang in there. It’s old English, but you will not need an interpreter to appreciate the genius:

We know diseases of stoppings, and suffocations, are the most dangerous in the body; and it is not much otherwise in the mind; you may take sarza to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flowers of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for the brain; but no receipt openeth the heart, but a true friend; to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.[1]

Good friends are the unsung heroes of our stories . . . quiet protagonists! They are ballast to our ship, fuel to our tank, and the signpost at an uncertain crossing. No wonder God says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”[2]

Such friends do not appear overnight. Nor do we acquire the qualities Sir Francis praises in a week’s time. You get a twenty-year friend over twenty years. That being said, friendship is a daily enterprise. How are you building?

STAY FOCUSED TODAY:Reread Sir Francis’ line about true friendship. Who is that friend to you? Thank God for that person! Ask for His help to be the friend others need.


The Essays of Francis Bacon, “Of Frienship,” Mount Vernon, NY: The Peter Pauper Press, n.d., page 104.

[2] Proverbs 17:17 ESV