Giving thanx for a Friend

During my first year at seminary I found that I had a nagging need for someone to talk to. You see, up until then I got along with no one. No one to share my thoughts with. No one to share the feelings that had developed into a maelstrom of emotions that nearly destroyed me. Yes, I was, and am, married. But, there are only so many things that one can discuss with a mate. My prayer became, “God, show me someone I can talk to.” Well, the first year of seminary came and went with no result. The second, my year of languages, also rushed by with solitude. However, in the third year I found that the need for a peer to speak with became a priority. I was in a class on spiritual disciplines, (thank you ATS and Jodi!), when the Holy Spirit began to insist that I find a brother with whom I could share. Again, I prayed. This time a name came up. It was a person I had known for over thirty years. I asked God to find someone else. But, God usually gets God’s way. I phoned this person. He was not really keen on the idea, but agreed to meet for coffee. We talked and decided that maybe we could continue getting together for 6 months or so…just to see how things developed. Now, 2 and a half years later, we still get together for coffee. The time spent with him has been a blessing, indeed. I am able to share my life; and he can share his. Ours is not necessarily a pastoral relationship, although, some of that takes place. Ours is not a relationship with like partners. He is 14 years my senior and an engineer. I am a “sensitive musician.” But, we do have a good relationship. I guess the reason I’m writing this is to extol the virtue of having a friend. For those of us who find that difficult, I encourage us all to go on a “friend-quest.” Dig, scratch, grab a magnifying glass, pray…do whatever is necessary to find someone to be a friend to. God has fashioned humans in such a way that comradeship is a necessity. Like breathing and eating, we cannot flourish without it. Yeah, we can survive. But, there is so much more than simply surviving for us.

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