I have been thinking.
Specifically, I have been thinking about our friends. We are blessed to have friends all over the southern states, some in foreign places like Wisconsin and New Jersey. What has forced my delightful consideration of our friends? A few things…
One, the list of friends to contact when my Dad died. I realized there were friends who would come at the drop of a hat, with no consideration of time or distance. Those friends are a beautiful and valuable part of our lives.
Another was born from joining cyberlife on Facebook. As of this writing, I have 78 friends on Facebook, and I don’t even go to it every day. However, I have found and been found by people I have not seen in 20 years, but through this social networking site, I suddenly realized the scope of our friendships over the past 22 years of our married life.
We have discovered old college friends, work acquaintances, choir members, and girlfriends (We don’t dwell too much on that…). But we (I do most of the surfing) thoroughly enjoy becoming reacquainted with folks who come complete with fond and beautiful memories.
Another source of this chain of thought comes from planning my sweet wife’s birthday event. This is a big milestone, and I have considered how to include friends and family from the depth and breadth of our marriage in the celebration. I began a mental list of friends I would like to include, and the problem soon made itself known. I called to mind friends from former churches; friends from college and seminary; friends from home, friends from here. As I mentally tallied the list, I thought that it must be nice to live in one place all your lives, and only have to manage a small set of life-long friends.
It didn’t take long to realize what a mis-directed thought that is….
While thinking, the reality of this blessing dawned on me- the blessing of having many friends in many places. And it is a unique blessing, for I believe in every church we’ve served, in college and seminary, there is at least one family who would respond to our crisis in a moment’s notice. As the song says, “you find out who your friends are….”
Some of our oldest (I mean people with whom we have been friends the longest) are coming to Tulsa this weekend. Our beautiful friends have been friends for 20 years now. These are the kind of friends you can vacation with, and not wear makeup. These are the friends who are friends, even when you haven’t seen each other for a year- you just pick up where you left off. The McBrides are a priceless part of our friendship family, and we are better because of their friendship.
I admit that managing friendships across several states and two decades is a daunting task. However, I am discovering the joy of warm memories while counting our blessings… one friendship at a time.
Life is indeed, good…..