by John Geoge Brown
When these dear friends and family and I shared this hope I really did not picture myself as anything but my youthful self sitting on that porch...but then I look in the mirror and the truth is revealed. I may only feel 40 on the inside but on the outside greater "maturity" is revealed.
Why this talk of friendship? I don't think this is Best Friend week, but I could be wrong. I speak of friendship now for a couple of reasons. First, all the above friends no longer live close enough to sit on that front porch, though we do chat. Then, I reflected on what it has been like to have lost a dear friend to death, who you just knew would "live forever", and the void, unfilled yet, by her absence.
Then, last night, Fay and I had a chat. Pete has been very ill again and yesterday they found he has pneumonia. She and I would agree that this was a time when we needed to talk and again we would both agree that somehow I listened to the promptings of the Master to make that call.
On the other hand, I dropped the ball yesterday, when I realized, too late, that I had missed Martha's birthday. OOPs! And only the day before she had sent me a card telling me how thoughtful I am. OUCH! This too will be rectified.
Kay and I, with Allen and Ron along for the ride, will visit soon for a chat over dinner...That's when we do our BEST chatting.
And...then I read this reflection by Henri J. M. Nouwen.
Friends and Their Limitations
We need friends. Friends guide us, care for us, confront us in love, console us in times of pain. Although we speak of "making friends," friends cannot be made. Friends are free gifts from God. But God gives us the friends we need when we need them if we fully trust in God's love.
Friends cannot replace God. They have limitations and weaknesses like we have. Their love is never faultless, never complete. But in their limitations they can be sign-posts on our journey toward the unlimited and unconditional love of God. Let's enjoy the friends God has sent on our way."
So now I see that my "front porch" has been replaced by just making sure these special people continue to be a part of my life by simply connecting with them; connecting with those beautiful women with whom I share my faith life every Tuesday evening; bonding with my Bible Study groups and sharing the love of God; meeting or "chatting" with faraway friends whenever the need arises; making those family calls to chat whether online text messaging (which is a lot of fun) or by phone just to hear their voices; and most importantly making sure those "chats" with the Lord, whether in prayer or with your faith community, be on the TOP of our BEST FRIENDS list.
Finally, knowing and accepting that I am not the perfect friend I'd like to be is part of my journey. I forget to say thank you, put off calls I know I should make, and forget birthdays sometimes...but even with these flaws I know I am loved by God and those Dear Friends and Family he has sent to me.
Thanks Be To GOD!!