Friends Are Everywhere

Friends Are Everywhere

Terry Lieb God Finds 8 Comments

I was in the children’s wing of the local library, scoping the shelves for books to read to our grandsons back in Pennsylvania during our weekly FaceTime sessions, a ritual we practice faithfully while we are overwintering in Florida, when a young boy darted by. 

“I will be in the back room with my friend!” he announced to the nearby young woman I assumed to be his mother.

“But we didn’t bring any of your friends along this time,” she said. 


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“I know,” he replied, “but this friend let me drive my cars on the track!” I knew he must be talking about the wooden train set the library had set up for kids.

“Jeremiah, to my knowledge, none of your friends are here today,” she insisted. 

Jeremiah gave her a tolerant look before gently setting her straight. “Mom,” he said, “friends are everywhere!”

Mom and I exchanged a glance while Jeremiah took off to find his new friend. Shaking her head, she said,  “Now how do I respond to that?”

I knew what she was thinking: that people you’ve only just met and might never see again don’t really qualify as “friends.” And obviously they aren’t the same as long-term friends, but was Jeremiah wrong to consider his new acquaintance his friend?

“I don’t know,” I grinned, “but I think you need to take credit for helping raise a young man who is so open-hearted that he sees friends everywhere! That’s surely something to celebrate.”

She became somewhat emotional, and perhaps to hide her reaction, she got up quickly, excusing herself to go meet Jeremiah’s “new friend.”Boys in Library

Not long afterward, I was doing push-ups at the last station of an outside exercise program at the recreation center when I happened to notice a very, very small yellow flower amongst thick grass. If it hadn’t been inches from my face, I probably would have missed it entirely. 

It was far too small to be a black-eyed Susan, my wife Rita’s favorite flower, but it was yellow so I decided to make the world’s tiniest bouquet—even though I might need to provide a magnifying glass to go along with it!   

I managed to find three of the delicate yellow blossoms. As I headed for my golf cart to deliver them to my lady, I came across a heavy-set African-American woman walking a small sausage dog. I stopped in front of her, stretched out my miniature bouquet and said conspiratorially, “Check it out! These little beauties are guaranteed to get me a ton of points with my wife! She’s always doing things for me and I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to catch up.” 

She immediately donned a big smile and said, “sounds like you two have been blessed!”  

I confirmed her assessment and again headed for my golf cart. I was only in my cart a few moments, mopping up my perspiration, when I heard a voice. “Don’t go, I got you a few more!”  

Yellow flowerI looked out to see the lady struggling to get back up from the ground—no easy feat. 

Hauling herself up with difficulty, she graced me with another huge smile. “Here’s two more to add to your bouquet!”

That simple act and that huge smile stirred up emotions I can’t fully explain. I was momentarily speechless. I simply returned her smile and added her gifts to my growing bouquet. Then I said quietly, “You have been my ‘God Find’ for today.”

Her smile quickly transitioned to a look of confusion. 

I hurriedly explained that “God Finds” is my personal expression for a blessing. “I experienced God’s presence in you just now!” I told her.

Her smile returned, even wider. “Nobody has ever said that to me before. Thank you.”

As we parted company, I decided Jeremiah had been right—friends are everywhere—and in that brief encounter I had found one of my own!


  1. Do you ever find yourself unwilling to invest time and attention in people if you aren’t likely to see them again, thinking it isn’t “worth it” if the relationship isn’t destined for more than a one-time encounter? What does this philosophy miss?
  2. Can you imagine what our world would be like today if all of us were able to see everyone we meet as a friend? How would it look?
  3. What would you personally have to do differently in order to treat strangers like friends? What holds you back from doing this?
  4. Did you know that happiness researchers have found that “weak ties” (interactions with people you see regularly enough to recognize but whom you may or may not know by name) are nearly as important to your day-to-day happiness as “strong ties” (family and close friends)? Does that surprise you? How can you nurture weak ties?
  5. A recent newspaper headline declared that the average American has just one close friend, down from 8 or 9 in 2004. How do you feel about the number and quality of your close friendships?
  6. What barriers do you think our society erects that make forming and keeping friendships difficult? What internal obstacles do you have that get in the way of your friendships? How can you combat both sets of hurdles?
  7. Do you tell your friends—including the friends you just met!—how much you appreciate them? If not, are you willing to?


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Art Hahn
Art Hahn
January 3, 2022 12:35 pm

Boy does our crazy world need this message right now. Yes, I am part of this crazy world. Thanks, Terry. “You’ve got a friend in me. ” Great song…. look it up. Peace, Art and Nancy

Art Hahn
Art Hahn
January 3, 2022 5:04 pm


David Kuntz
David Kuntz
January 3, 2022 9:18 pm

I always look forward to your perspective of the world. Thanks for your consistency.

Linda Purdin
Linda Purdin
January 3, 2022 9:27 pm

I especially like those “quick “ friends, they’re all around me, I just have to be aware!

January 4, 2022 9:45 am

Another good story that challenges us to go beyond our comfort zone. Thank you.

Suzanne Barron
Suzanne Barron
January 5, 2022 3:33 pm

My name is Suzanne but someone just seeing my name in print for the first time will often call me Susan. Now Susan is a lovely name, but it’s not MY name, so I guess names have always seemed important to me. Whenever I meet up with someone wearing a name tag, I always address the person or thank them using their name. I am amazed at how easily people will become a friend for thirty seconds or a minute if you do this. In addition to these “30-second-friends”, I also meet several times a month with a woman I… Read more »

Carlos Hernandez
Carlos Hernandez
January 6, 2022 5:53 pm

Well how do people become friends if it isn’t with just a simple hello. Apparently we sometimes need to be like little children, innocent, honest and sometimes silly.

Bill Tremitiere
Bill Tremitiere
January 7, 2022 5:12 pm

Hi Terry I love your message! I felt that you and Rita were friends long before we actually met – because you were Bill Love’s close friends and he frequently spoke of you two. Several years ago, we were in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico sitting on a bench in the main plaza. We began chatted with a woman sitting on the next bench, who said she was from Dallas but often went to San Miguel and Paris. After a few minutes of delightful conversation, we had to dash off to meet someone we had planned to join for lunch.… Read more »