You won’t think less of me, will you

You won’t think less of me, will you, if I admit that I’m not a country music aficionado?  But hurrying to catch a plane in Minnesota a few weeks ago, I caught the refrain of a country song.  With one hand on the wheel, I scribbled the words down, googled them back at home, and discovered what’s turned out to be the most requested country song in America this summer.

Sung by Tracy Lawrence, it’s “You Find Out Who Your Friends Are.”  Here’s a snatch of the lyrics:  “Run your car off the side of the road/ Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere/ Or get yourself in a bind—lose the shirt off your back/ Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare.”  I.e., the familiar human predicament of finding yourself in trouble and in need of a helping hand.  “This is where the rubber meets the road/ This is where the cream is gonna rise/ This is what you really didn’t know/ This is where the truth don’t lie” (remember, this is country grammar).  And then Lawrence launches into his refrain that has obviously struck a resonating chord in American hearts, “You find out who your friends are/ Somebody’s gonna drop everything/ Run out and crank up their car/ Hit the gas, get there fast/ Never stop to think ‘What’s in it for me?’ or ‘It’s way too far’/ They just show on up with their big old heart/ You find out who your friends are.”

Last week we called them “front porch” friends, the people around us who are willing to get out of their comfort zones and go out on a limb for the likes of you and me.  People who, as the song sings, aren’t asking, “What’s in it for me,” but who get into it for us.  “You find out who your friends are.”  Don’t you?

Makes you wonder how many “front porch” friends are in this church, on this campus?   Are you one of them, am I?  I wish you’d download the podcast of this mini-two-part series, “The Front Porch” (www.pmchurch.tv).  Sit in the rocker, brood with me, how can we grow community around here?  Maybe it’s time we too join one of those small “front porch” circles—not just for what we can get, but as the song sings, for what we can give.  After all, the greatest Front Porch Friend we’ll ever have joined our group because He wanted to give.

You find out who your friends are, don’t you?

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