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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Friendship: 'Hey, Bud'

While trying to save a life 25 years ago, Charlie Miller and I became friends. Volunteers on the same ambulance crew, we found in each other someone who would help others, mourn the loss of a patient and question God.

But our true friendship really began while Charlie was redoing an upstairs bathroom. He'd gotten the tub up the steps but needed help carrying the shower enclosure. No matter how we tried, that enclosure wouldn't go up those steps. I saw that "sick" look in his eyes--a look of "What do I do now?" So I measured the window. With a block, tackle and some pulling, it went in. That night, Charlie hired me, a chemistry teacher, as summer help for his plumbing business.

These days, we volunteer for the Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania, doing plumbing or construction, driving vans and helping in the kitchen.

When Charlie and I talk by phone or AOL Instant Messenger, we greet each other with: "Hey, Bud." Few words are more comforting, as we discovered when our fathers died. We believe that when we die, Christ will be there to say, "Hey, Bud, it's time to go home!"


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