I want to share the latest on this thread, and again I want to thank all for their advice and support. Instead of contacting my friend directly, I asked a mutual friend to do so. This mutual friend called twice and left messages with his phone number and asked that his calls be returned. The last call was placed on Friday and as of Sunday night there has been no reply.
Actually, this is what I had expected. My friend, whom I'll call "Evan", has fallen on some very hard times. He is unemployed, penniless, and now forced to live with relatives. He no longer attends the meetings--at least not regularly--and certainly does not participate in the field service. I also fear that he is now drinking rather heavily.
Our mutual friend has begged me to make an effort to talk to "Evan". In the past, I was the closest friend "Evan" has ever had. We have drifted apart since I was disfellowshipped due to the WTS shunning policy and have not spoken to each other in nearly four years now. I suspect that "Evan" was too embarrassed and ashamed of his current circumstances to talk to our mutual friend and that is the reason he has not returned those phone calls. He does not want to be reminded of the past, so he has withdrawn deep within himself.
I have decided that I will make an attempt to reach "Evan" on the telephone. I have his number. He lives less than a dozen miles from me but I don't think I should show up at his door unannounced. But I want to consult with others before I make my next move. The entire reason for this exercise is to determine if our friendship can be salvaged. I want to help in any way I can, but I also know that the slope to co-dependency is a very slippery and seductive one. A co-dependent relationship is the last thing either one of us needs. "Evan" most likely needs professional help and counseling and I am not qualified to render those. All I can do is be his friend and support him in his efforts to move forward with his life again.
I've appreciated the thoughts and counsel I have received from all of you. That is why I am turning to you once again as well as consulting with friends close at hand. What do you think? Should I even make this attempt? If I do, how should I approach "Evan"? I know that delicacy, tact, and genuine affection will need to be displayed. Is there anything else I should say and do? And when should I understand that "Evan" might not want to renew our friendship and let go? Your thoughts, advice, and comments are most welcome.