I woke up to a note in mailbox from a friend. As he spoke of his fear and pain, I realized that whatever is going on in his life, I need to stand by him. In our relationship over the years this has been one consistent – unconditional acceptance. He has covered my fears with hope. He has responded to my pain with compassion. He has offered friendship in good times and bad.
In a reflection of quiet hope, I find myself looking at personal stories that remind me of two points. They both rest on an old cliché that one writer describes this way; “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” (1 Corinthians 13.1)
When you lay this across my stories, I find two constants. Knowing someone has your back creates an opening for hope. Last night I spoke with two friends. I know I can trust both. I also know one will have my back without hesitation. In a dangerous world, he will be a guard to things I cannot see. He will be there, looking out for me. He will never intentionally hurt.
Presence is a wonderful gift. It does not have to be one of proximity, at least not all the time. As I think of today, there is uncertainty in our lives that does not seem to end. I can feel his presence, even when he is in another country. I can hear his words of consul, even when he is silent. I am stronger because he is in my life.
The combination is one that allows one to continue even in the darkness. One may be blind, but there is help nearby. Part of me wants to be able to say that everything will work out ok. I know this is not possible. I also know that in taking the steps I will have someone to cover my back. I hope I can give what I have received. I want my actions to echo their enduring friendship.