I’m really missing Robert today and it’s not just because I need my car worked on…

Looking back at this past 14 months or so of blogging, I can’t believe that I haven’t told you about Robert yet. For about five years or so, he was pretty close to being my best friend. Like a favorite big brother and a mentor, all in one person.

In the weeks and months following my broken engagement, I was a bit lost. I had moved to The City to be with a man who was no longer a part of my life. So now, I lived in The City with no real purpose or plan. When I broke up with my fiancée, I seemed to lose custody of most of our friends, too and so I kinda had to rebuild my group of friends from scratch. And one of the first of those was Robert.

Robert was in a Sunday school class I co-taught, but he was light-years ahead of me spiritually. And when he invited me to help him do some work at the home of a needy family from the church’s neighborhood, I easily agreed. And over the next weeks, as we scrubbed and cleaned and fumigated this home and ministered to this family, we became pretty close. And soon, his friends became my friends. And before long, I had a sweeter group of friends than I’d ever had before.

 But Robert… No matter how many other friends I had, he was always special. He was the one that understood me the best, I think. He really knew me and understood me. We connected. And many times, I would be in the middle of a huge life crisis and the phone would ring and I would hear his voice saying, “What’s wrong?”

Robert was the one that would stay up half the night with me on the phone when I had a stomach virus and was projectile vomiting. He would sit on the other end of the line and say, “It’s okay, you can cry if you want to. I’ll stay here with you while you do.” And he would. He was the one who, when my car broke down, would come get me wherever I was, fix my car, and make sure that I could find a way to afford the parts. The night I went to the ER with kidney stones, I called him in the wee hours of the morning, and only minutes after they had gotten me onto a gurney, he was standing there, holding my hand and making me laugh—he had a particular gifting for that.

He was one of the ones that talked me into going back to college. And once I was there, he and our friend, Rick were my weekend family—spending a lot of Friday evenings watching TV, a lot of Saturday evenings at movies, and every Sunday eating Sunday dinner together as a little family. We laughed, cried, loved, fought, and made up. We both bore each others’ burdens and were each others’ burdens.

When I was a freshman in college, Robert learned that Cheerios was my favorite cereal and one Sunday after church, he presented me—the broke college student—with a brand new box. We laughed and I accepted the box, knowing that it would keep me out of the gross cafeteria at least a couple of times that week. And that week, when I opened my box of cereal, I found that he had somehow sneaked a “treat” into the box of cereal.

A box of Band-Aids. A poke at me for being a klutz, yes, but also a reminder of the time he drove all the way across town with Band-Aids to patch up my heel after I’d gashed it open on a screen door. And in his atrocious handwriting on the box was a note to encourage me and remind me that I was loved.

Oh, I miss my friend. But sometimes, friends are only called to be in your life for a season. I guess that’s why we have to hold our friends with open hands—because sometimes God has to take them out of your hands so that He can put them in someone else’s or so that He can hold them more firmly in His.

Robert has now married and moved overseas. I hear he has a child now, whom I’ve never met. Our friend, Rick, is still one of the dearest friends of my heart. He reads every blog post I write, though he comments on almost none. (I love you, Rick! Robert was on my heart tonight and to write about you both would have taken many more words than I had space for in one post!)

But Robert… The one I affectionately called “Bobby Cracker” and went fishin’ with… The one who gave me dating advice and then got mad at me when I didn’t listen, but who always helped pick up the pieces of my heart when it was over… I miss you and no matter how much time passes, you always know how to find the way home. I love you, my brother!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – I Corinthians 13:4-8a,13

Friends… I’m convinced that I have the very best friends in the world! I wish I had the time and space to list you all and to thank you all, but for now, just know that I love you and appreciate you! You guys make me smile. You make me laugh. You make me cry. I ache with you. I pray with you and I know that you ache with me and pray with me, as well. I thank God for you all!

About Sarah Salter


  1. Awww… Where’s my Kleenex?

    I have had several friendships like the one you describe with Robert, but I am lucky enough to have married my best friend.

    Here’s a toast to friendship. Use your beverage of choice. I’m working on my second mug of coffee.

  2. What a lovely story. Friends can save your life ♥

  3. Beautiful! God bless Robert and Rick.

  4. Great story and wonderful friendship. Thanks for sharing it, Sarah.

  5. Barbara Capps says:

    Didn’t I meet Robert? Anyway.. I know what its like to have a friendship like that.. Remember Brad… He and his wife are still in Germany… Thanks for sharing that about Robert..

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