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The Power of Positive Friends

Have you ever had someone in your life who came along at just the right time to give you positive support at a time when you needed it the most? Do you have a friend who is always “there” for you no matter how bad things get? Or do you have someone in your life who, when you are at your lowest, knows just what words to say to help you feel you can make it through another day?

I, myself, was fortunate to have a friend like this. For me, this person was Marvin Phillips, the minister at my church for many years. When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Marvin was a tremendous support to me at this challenging time in my life.

Marvin’s message was always a positive one that was firmly rooted in his faith. He had shared rostrums with some of the most positive motivational speakers of our time, such as Cavett Robert, Zig Zigler, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Paul Harvey, and Art Linkletter. In Marvin’s eyes, everyone in the world would feel much better if they would just get enough hugs every day. In his book, Never Lick a Moving Blender, he states, in one section entitled, “Turn Your Love Loose,” the following:

Get in the world’s hugging line. Give and receive at least twelve hugs a day. You need at least four to survive, four more for maintenance, and four more for growth. Give hugs generously. Receive them gratefully. Give pats on the back. Drape yourself in a smile. It takes less effort to smile than to frown: so give your face a break. Let others in on the good stuff. . . There’s a rip-roaring, awe-inspiring life out there waiting for you. . . So start your engines. Rev them up. Expect the best. And turn it loose. (Phillips, 1973)

Sadly, Marvin passed away on Thursday of this week. I will really miss him. But God’s timing is always better than our own, and if I know Marvin, he is first-in-line in Heaven’s own hugging line! All I can say about that is “Hey, there, Marvin, hold a place for me!”

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