Get High On Life: True friends remain valuable

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 25, 2002


As I write this article, I’m thinking of my friend, Barry Heltz, of Riverside Academy. He and his wife are my friends, and I pray that I will never apologize for being a friend.

I know that they are going through some trying times now, and I’m sure they are disappointed in some people whom they considered friends. I am reminded of a Scripture, John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (To keep it simple, Jesus is a friend who walks in when the world has walked out.)

A few years ago, I heard the story about the great Babe Ruth. During his baseball career, he hit 714 home runs. In the peak of his career, he was a hero to all fans – children and adults.

Well, this particular day, at the end of his playing days, his error opened the door for the Cincinnati Reds to score five runs. As the Babe walked off the field and headed toward the dugout, the fans rose to their feet and booed him unmercifully. A young boy jumped over the railing of the stands and ran onto the field with tears rolling down his face. He threw his arms around the legs of his hero. The Babe picked up the boy, hugged him, set him down and patted his head. The crowd stopped booing and silence filled the ball park.

The story goes on to say that the fans witnessed two heroes that day. Yes, on the ball field, but not because of any athletic heroics, but because the great Babe Ruth, in spite of his bad day, took time to care about the young boy and a small boy who had compassion for another human being.

Why should this story remind me of my friend, Barry? He definitely won’t make history because of his past athletic achievements, and I’m not sure that any small child will jump up and show him any affection. But the reason that I’m thinking of him this day is because, like the Babe, he is experiencing a big trial in his life. I’m sure he feels a little lonely at times.

When I called and asked him how I could help, he said, “Just continue to be my friend.”

I’m certain that Barry and Linda will be all right. My advice to them is that regardless of what the future holds, put faith in who holds the future – God!

Barry, thanks for being my friend and a special thanks for caring about every child who ever attended Riverside. You won’t make the world’s Hall of Fame, but I believe that God has been well pleased with your devotion and loyalty to Riverside. Over the past 25-plus years, you have been a credit to your community and your profession.

May God bless you!

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at (985) 652-8477.