Last night we reconnected with some friends we hadn’t seen in several years. We had been close for a few years when our kids were small, then they moved about 30 minutes from us, and it was just enough of a distance to let time and space gradually grow between us. Life happened, we lost touch. But last night as we got caught up and chatted our way through a mound of nachos and Pyramid ale, we discovered again how rich and sweet our friendship is.
Friendship is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
For many years I’ve spent most of my efforts and time working on my music, and it’s been at the expense of cultivating deep and meaningful relationships in my life. Just over the past 5 years or so I’ve begun to feel that lack and have started investing more time in the sweet people God has brought into my life.
Boy am I glad I did. By nature I can easily be a lone ranger, and it’s not the most healthy way to be.
My mother is one of a group of four women who’ve been friends since high school. They are the kind of been-with-each-other-through-hell-and-back-again kind of friends that you can’t experience in a year or two or even ten. These women have been there for each other through 50 years of life, and when you’re around them, you feel the strength and power of that bond. When one hurts, they all hurt. When one rejoices they all rejoice. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
I want that. I know it will cost me something. Time, for one. And an honest open heart that I allow my friends to see. Compassion and understanding when they show me theirs. I feel like I’m finally getting it, at this stage in my life, that it’s not just worth it to risk and love and share life together with others. It’s essential to our emotional and spiritual health.
We didn’t hold much back catching up last night; we gave our old friends the straight scoop about the good, the bad and the ugly that has transpired since we’d last seen each other. They did the same with us. And by the end of the evening, we knew they were in our corner, praying for us, grieving with us, and hoping with us for good things ahead. That’s a gift we all need.