I am fortunate. I know my life is richer because of friends. They are an integral part of my life. They are the fabric that defines life. Their wisdom guides, rebukes, and nurtures. Their actions bring hope. They trigger reflection. At times, they even trigger my willingness to fight. Those in this community range from the very young to ageless, powerful to weak, and obvious to those less so. As I close my eyes, I see Alexander and Hector’s bright trusting smiles forever bringing me Hope. I find myself under another’s wise gaze, wondering what I have done to deserve their gifts. I experience the pull towards creativity, expressing those emotions I did not know I had within my soul.
I know there are exceptions, however in the main I recognized the potential of the relationship from the moment we met. It was as if I have known them before we met. It is a wonderful awareness. There are common threads. I sensed their willingness to walk with me. I knew their intent was pure. I understood intuitively that their perspective would enrich my vision. I also knew I would be able to share in return.
“Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was.” (Acts 16.1, 2) Paul knew instantly that Timothy was going to be a part of his life for a long time. The sense of knowing in itself reinforces Hope’s presence.
My good fortune extends to a simple yet complex awareness. I know God wants to be my friend. We are family. We are richer for the other. While my contribution pales, God reminds me that it is important. I find myself invited into a candid, wonderful, and mysterious relationship. It is a journey without an ending.
Any friend of mine is a friend of yours. It may sound unusual. It is the way of my friends. Welcome to the family.
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