Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friendships



This post is to honor all my girlfriends, past and present.

If ever we have been friends in school, as relations, over the internet, through letters written long-distance, or even now, I love you with a true love as a friend. You were and are very special to me, even if I haven't seen you in decades or if I only see you a few times a year, OR if I've never seen you except in photos.

The following is a piece I clipped from Reader's Digest a good decade ago, at the very least. It helped me then to realize that even though some friendships seem to die, that it's not always because of failure on my part (although some have been) or a bad thing. I'd like to copy it here for everyone to read. I think it is insightful and applies to most of us. That's why I've kept it all these years.

Friends of the Road
-Paula Spencer in Aspire
"Why do friendships come and go? How does a once-bosom buddy wind up erased from your address book? Is a friendship that fades away necessarily a bad thing?

My first inkling that some friendships are meant to be fleeting came in the spring of my senior year in college. My friendships there had been especially intense. We'd bonded instantly and tightly, with meandering all-hours conversations about everything from the meaning of life to 'What will we wear tonight?' Once I came across a line that seemed to express perfectly my 21-year-old angst. It was from the novel Centennial: 'God, he wished he could ride forever with these men. ...But it could not be. Trails end, and companies of men fall apart.'

Of course! Some friendships are meant to be transitory. Like cowboys who had ridden herd together for miles, sharing dusty perils and round-the-campfire coffee, my college friends and I had come to the natural end of our path together. It was time to move on.

Absurdly obvious, the idea was nevertheless enormously comforting. It had once seemed like failure to me, to build a friendship only to have it squelched by sudden distance, either physical or emotional. You move across the country and struggle to replicate daily long walks with phone calls or letters. Or one of you has a baby, and the minutiae of changing diapers transform the bicycle-built-for-two that was your friendship into a lop-sided three-legged stool.

And that' o-kay. Because in addition to our friends of the heart - the traditional, everlasting ideal - life is rich with friends of the road who, like Jame Michener's cowpokes, herd with you for a particular stretch and no farther. These brief friendships are equally intense, equally necessary, equally worth treasuring as any other, and for the duration of that ride you can't survive without them."

Wasn't that worth saving to reread years later?!! Sometimes, when I hit another transitional stage, usually emotional but sometimes physical, I am reminded that the good Lord is in charge of it all. I bring situations to Him in prayer and He knows my pain, guilt, longing, and comforts me.

HE is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. And one day, I do hope that all my friends, past and present and future brothers and sisters, will know that joy of living together where we will all be as one.

Until then, let us be about our Father's business or at least our own business, but never too busy to show love to one another.

Many blessing to you, my friends who read today's post.