on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Introducing Friends — Day 19

I want to introduce you to a friend of mine named Richard Rohr (pronounced Roar). Well, ok, he’s not a personal friend but someone who touches my life.

I’ve never met him, or heard him speak in person, but I do get a daily email from him that in two or three paragraphs makes me think about how I live as a person of faith.  He is both radical and compassionate.  He is also a Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Mary introduced him to me awhile ago.

He is the author of Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, and a couple of dozen more.

Of course, he is a human being like the rest of us and I am sure he has his struggles with life as well.  He is not a “guru” that I want to follow mindlessly.  But he is someone who helps me along the path to live mindfully.

Here is an example of a response he gave to the question:  If you had the attention of the world for one minute, what would you tell them?

It helps to have friends on the journey.

Who has influenced your life to live more fully?  Who has challenged you to live more simply?  How so?

I’d like to know.  Would you share?


  1. Sharon Ryder


    One person who has influenced my life to live more fully is a gentleman you well know. His name is Dr. Truett Guffin. We knew of the Guffin family all of our lives growing up in Gardendale. It wasn’t until we returned to our church about 25 years ago that we began to “know” them. Those were trying years for us. Two children entering puberty, difficult finances, struggling with who we were and our marriage floundering. My husband Larry had been a part of the small sound ministry at the church we’d been attending. When we moved back to our church, Doctor Guffin was over the sound ministry team there and promptly put Larry to work. Here we were, not much in material wealth, struggling, fighting within our home and God sends this gentleman into our lives. Truett took Larry under his wing. An unlikely duo. Truett was a good deal older and more educated, more grounded, and a pillar in the community and definitely not struggling financially.

    Truett is a quiet man. He listens. He leads by example. Most of all, he really cares about people. He has the heart of Jesus. Truett was certain to have seen the struggles we were going thru, but he never indicated it. He just merely offered a genuine friendship and that was something we needed. Through the next several years, he and Larry became close and as Truett lived out his life in front of us, something amazing began to happen. We changed. He never asked us to, he never told us to. He just loved on us and made us welcome, in his home, in the church, he even took us to social events with his family. He included us. We changed for the better.

    Just by his loving and caring, Larry began to see how a godly man treated his family. I began to gain self confidence and we both grew closer as a couple and our priorities changed. We learned to enjoy and love the life we have. We learned to share that love with each other and to reach out to others. God has blessed us beyond measure during these past 20 years. But one of the greatest blessings we ever received was the friendship and leadership of Dr. Truett Guffin. His life caused ours to change for the better and put things in proper priority. I hope to emulate Truett’s compassion and friendship for years to come. It’s the greatest of gifts. Because of Truett, I now have the capacity to give of myself and realize that the simple act of friendship is a powerful tool.

  2. Malcolm

    Dear Sharon, I am so inspired by your story of how Dr. Truett Guffin changed you and your husband’s life.

    What caught my eye was that he “just loved us and made us welcome, in his home, in the church, he even took us to social events with his family. He included us.”

    The power of friendship, of “being with” people through good and hard times, makes all the difference.

    Thanks for sharing,

    How about other people who are reading this? Who has influenced your life for the better? How so?

  3. Nikki Chenault

    I get his daily emails too and my life is richer because of him. His new book “The Naked Now” is just wonderful. Thanks for getting the word out Malcolm.

  4. JoEllen Duke Holmes

    I heard Rohr at a conference two years ago. All I could say is WOW.

    And, I had the pure luck of meeting him on the street during the conference, and we walked together from one point to another – a ten minute walk. It was a great ten minutes!

  5. Mary Tittle

    I want to add to Sharon’s comment regarding Dr. Truett Guffin.

    He was our family physician before leaving his practice in Gardendale; an outstanding Christian friend. His wife Maureen was one of the best friends I have ever had; I miss her friendship so much. They helped my family get through some very difficult days in the 60′ and 70′; I will always remember them for their support. I thank God always for the Christian friends that I have had in my journey through life!

  6. Malcolm

    Wow, Mary, that is so neat how the Guffins influenced you as well. Thanks for sharing. I hope you will let the Guffins know what a difference their family has made for you.

    How about other people who are reading this? Who has influenced your life for the better? How so?

  7. Edna Shurden Langley

    I, too, receive his daily email and he always leaves me with food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2022 malcolm marler

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑