Posted by: David Stewart | September 6, 2009

To be a friend

I look on the complexity of the world’s problems and sigh sometimes. From local problems of unemployment and poverty, to global problems of violence and fear. It’s more than a little overwhelming. How can I make a difference?

Someone very close to me is making a big difference. And doing it in a way which is simple, humble and very impactful.

Debbie Stewart, on the left, became a friend about a year ago to Beth, who used to be homeless in Portland. Beth was helped to afford an apartment by an agency called JOIN and asked if someone was willing to meet with Beth weekly, just to be her friend. Deb stepped up to this, because she thought she could.

In a great write-up on the JOIN blog, some of Deb’s amazing stories of this friendship are spun out. A few of these situations have my sister thinking that Deb is a little nuts for befriending Beth. (The blog tames some of these down perhaps).

But Deb is just a friend to Beth. And because of this, she has just been there in the times when Beth needed it the most. I think Deb sets appropriate boundaries for this friendship. Beth doesn’t ask for money, and Deb doesn’t offer it. But what she does is have coffee every week, sometimes drives her places. And is there when her friend needs her.

I am simply, and extraordinarily proud of Deb, my wife of 26 years. She has made a difference in someone’s life. I wish this were the solution of every problem in this complex, hurting world. But it seems to be a pretty good one for Beth.



  1. awesome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: