The Dancing Puritan

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wyatt Earp is my Friend

Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp 1881 after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Image from

Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend.  We talked, among other things, about friendship.  It was a delightful time. We discussed my writings on friendship. We committed to meeting regularly to rekindle our old friendship.  I look forward to that.

The Dancing Puritan focuses a lot on marriage and friendship. Though we plan to write about many things over the years, I think that there will often be repeated the themes of marriage, family and friendship. Along the way we will examine some of the great friendships and marriages of history.  Always remember that history and biography are your friends. Visit those friends often, they are twins.

My friend reminded me of a scene from the movie Tombstone.  A man asks Doc Holliday why he sticks with Wyatt Earp.  Doc says, "Wyatt is my friend."  The man responds, "I got a lot of friends." Doc replies, "Well, I don't."

Though there are quite a few ways that we will not want to imitate Holliday and Earp, they were loyal friends.  They were willing to die for one another.

Sometimes friends fail in their loyalty.  Paul, near the end of his life, was consigned to a dark, cold and damp dungeon.  It was a horrific place. He longed for a warm coat, his books and his friends.  He told Timothy (one of his dearest friends) to get to him as soon as possible. In his correspondence with Timothy he mentions that one of his friends had abandoned him. Paul writes, Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica (2 Timothy 4).

Because Demas loved the world he deserted Paul and abandoned him in the time of his greatest need.  Demas was Paul's friend. He failed him.  Let us learn from that example.  Remember that the best of friends are frail and subject to fail us.  Forgive them.  Let us do all that we can, in the strength of our Lord, to be loyal to our friends.

John Piper recently preached on Paul's last words visit: John Piper.  In that message he speaks of the friendship between Paul and Demas (and others). The sermon is fantastic. Have a wonderful Lord's Day.