Monday, April 07, 2008
I am so fortunate to have many special friends. We attended a baptism last evening and I was reminded how many people support and care for us as a family. This is a precious thing. Friends are people you can count on to bring comfort, laughter, joy and sometimes correction into your life.
I remember the first 'best' friend I made. It was a school pal called Stephen Dagnall. I was never one for many friends but he was one who was special. I am afraid our alliance started as smoking colleagues behind the chemistry labs, not the best way. His dad managed a public house in a village about five or six miles away and I used to visit quite a bit at weekends and holidays using my bike as a means of transport. I remember the long steep hill which going was a pain but coming back was a delight. This friendship opened me up to many joyful experiences - hay making, learning the process of pasteurising milk and the joys of wondering across fields just enjoying good company. He left school a year before I did and so the friendship ended. I tracked him down a few years ago and we met up almost thirty years since we left school. It was enough to meet the once and now we exchange Christmas cards. The friendship was for a time and that time passed.
Friends come in different types. I suppose my current best friend and forever best friend is my wife. She is stable, solid, always there for me and gives me the grace and love I need to do what I do. The friendship grew out of the attraction and chemistry of falling in love with her and is far more precious now than ever before.
My oldest friend who I still count as a friend is Anita who now lives in Holland. We don't see each other for years but the shared memories and knowledge of each other means that we can easily pick up where we left off. It still needs the occasional e-mail or phone call to remind each other but it will always be there.
I was never one for many friends but as I have grown older I have accumulated a lot more. Perhaps its easier to make friends and sustain friendships as you grow older. I have 54 friends who support the work I do in prayer. That is very special and a great privilege. Too many to mention by name.
I know that my greatest friend is my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The bible tells me that He is one who is closer than a brother and that is so true. I am constantly telling Him I love Him. I find myself doing that many times a day. Something inside me just wants to reach out to Him and express my love and gratitude for all He does and is doing in me and around me and for my family and friends.
A good friend is hard to find and I now have so many. I thank God for friendship.