Nineteenth century author Henry Van Dyke said, “A friend is what the heart needs all the time.”
Fifteen-year-old Daniel Harrison from Nottingham, England, told his teacher he wanted a friend when she asked if he had any goals. Daniel has autism. He likes his teacher and loves his family, but he doesn’t really have any friends. His parents wondered how well Daniel even understood the concept of friendship. He had never expressed a desire before and seemed quite happy.
Nevertheless, Daniel’s parents shared his story and asked friends on social media to send Daniel a birthday greeting. Within hours, their message went viral, and they received over 120,000 likes and 50,000 comments. Among those sharing kind words were celebrities, like Russell Crowe and Mark Hamill. Most meaningful of all, however, were the replies they received from parents across the globe who also had children with special needs. Now Daniel has more friends than he could have ever dreamed.
A friend cheers us in victory and comforts us in pain, reminding us that we’re not alone. Which is why we all need a friend. Everyone is fighting some kind of unseen battle which means everyone could use an encouraging word or an arm around their shoulder.
If you feel alone and could use a friend, call Focus on the Family. We’re here for you and happy to help in any way we can. Call 1-800-A-Family.