The writer of Ecclesiastes states this with honesty: Someone who is alone finds life’s difficulties harder to manage (Ecclesiastes 4:10), is more vulnerable to abuse (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and can feel that his or her life is meaningless (Ecclesiastes 4:7-8). While having a few friends is best (Ecclesiastes 4:12), just one friend can make a difference. Ecclesiastes puts this beautifully: “Two people lying close together can keep each other warm” (Ecclesiastes 4:11).
One of the most touching examples of this I’ve heard is about a woman I’ll call Erica. She was in the depths of depression, feeling isolated and lonely. But she had a friend named Emily. When Erica needed to cry, Emily didn’t stop the tears. When Erica needed to scream, Emily didn’t quiet her down. When Erica needed hope, Emily was ready with an encouraging word.
At her darkest moment, Erica lay curled up on an armchair one afternoon. She’d lost hope, and Emily had no words left. So Emily did the best thing she could do—she climbed into that armchair and hugged her friend. Erica drifted off to sleep. Then Emily did too. And that’s how they stayed for the next two hours—two friends embraced in warm silence. Seven years later, Erica remembers that hug more than anything else.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed”
- Sheridan Voysey ( Our Daily Journey)