An old friend’s father died recently. Through no fault of our own, we haven’t seen each other in years. If my memory serves me correct, I have seen him once, albeit briefly, in the last thirty-five years. As I read of his father’s passing I found myself revisiting the days of my youth, license-less teenage years spent riding a small Yamaha motorcycle across the farmlands of Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore, India). Whitefield was very different then. Nobody could imagine the quiet rural farmlands becoming one of the worlds leading IT and back office operations centers it is today. In those years two friends could cruise the paths and rough roads with ease. Occasionally we would meet another vehicle. Usually we were left to bicycles, bullock carts, and the occasional herd of water buffaloes.
It has been a long time. As I sent an email with my words of comfort and hope I wondered what filled his memories. I didn’t have to wait long. His note had the riding adventures supplemented with shared lunches, chasing lizards up into the trees, and my mom’s macaroni salad. I am sure we shared many lunches, usually driven by where the time of day found us. I have no recollection of the lizards, yet it sounds like something fun and within our usual range of activities. I do remember the salad; occasionally I still get some!
Friends share a lot of history. Most of what they and we share has been long forgotten, by both of us. Even the friends of Jesus had the same problem. One noted simple that “there are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can't imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.” (John 21.25)
Books are not meant to hold all of our memories. This is the realm of relationships, shared evenings, and conversation. You and I have the opportunity to create bits and pieces, in our lives and those we meet. Today we choose the flavor.
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